The disagreement even extends to the voting itself. One of its best-known leaders skipped the polls on Sunday, when the troubled South American country had more than 3,000 jobs, including professionals and governorships, all facing competition. The opposition party eventually took home three governorship races, but they worked together and once won twice the number.
“Today, the reconstruction and reunification of Venezuela’s democratic alternatives must initiate a new phase, strengthen and clarify the goals that have brought us together over the years, and assume the responsibilities that must be assumed at this time,” U.S.-backed opposition leader Hu Anguaido told reporters. “This is not the time for political parties to fight, nor the time for political leaders to be arrogant. Now is the time to reflect, unite and work for Venezuelans.”
Like millions of other Venezuelans, Guaido did not vote in regional elections. The National Election Commission stated that about 42.3% of the country’s 21 million registered voters, or 8.15 million voters, voted.
The dialogue between Maduro and his opponents also resulted in more than 130 international observers attending during the election, most of them from the European Union. They fan the flames across the country to observe election conditions, such as fairness, media visits, election campaigns, and disqualification of candidates.
Pedro Martinez, a 56-year-old hospital worker, said he understands why in eastern Caracas, the polling center where Maduro and his allies usually vote against Maduro and his allies are rarely lined up: opposition leaders ” Internal struggle”.
“The split of the opposition led to very few people (voting),” Martinez said. “The opposition must work very hard to gain people’s trust.”
The results showed that former defense minister and pro-government candidate Carmen Meléndez (Carmen Meléndez) became the winner of the race for mayor of the capital Caracas.
In the neighbouring state Miranda, which has important strategic value to the opposition, pro-government governor Hector Rodriguez was re-elected with more than 396,000 votes. This is about 60,600 more people than his closest competitor and opposition candidate David Uzcategui. The total number of votes for candidates outside the official coalition surpassed that of Rodriguez, a close collaborator who supported Maduro.
The opposition candidate was elected as the governors of the central states of Cohedes, Nova Esparta and Zulia. In the best case, participating as a group, the opposition won 6 governor positions and 76 mayor positions in 2008 and 2013, respectively.
Jacqueline Maza, a senior adjunct professor of Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said: “The opposition’s electoral strategy is now more limited.” “I think the opposition’s problem now is that under the current conditions of returning after boycotting two of them. What will they do in two years? Because they cannot show themselves without the same minimum conditions.”
Regional elections usually do not attract much attention outside the country, but the situation on Sunday is different due to the measures taken by the Maduro regime and its opponents before the elections.
The National Assembly, in support of Maduro’s majority, appointed two prominent opponents as the leading members of the election committee in May, including a radical who was imprisoned for allegedly participating in destabilizing the government. This is the first time since 2005 that the Venezuelan opposition has more than one member on the board of a five-member electoral body.
In August, representatives of the Maduro government and Guaido’s allies began a formal dialogue under the guidance of Norwegian diplomats and the auspices of Mexico to find a common way out of the political deadlock in their country. By the end of the month, the decision of the opposition party to participate in the election was announced. For several months, Maduro’s representatives have also had behind-the-scenes talks with allies of former opposition presidential candidate Enrique Capriles.
Driven by the Mexican talks, the European Union accepted the invitation of Venezuelan officials to send election observers. But after an important ally of Maduro was extradited to the United States, these negotiations were suspended last month.
EU observers are expected to release a preliminary report on Tuesday and conduct in-depth research next year.
After announcing the preliminary results, Maduro called on the winners and losers to participate in a “political dialogue.” But a few hours ago, Maduro said in a speech to reporters that it is currently impossible to resume formal dialogue with the opposition. He argued that his US government “stabbed a knife in the back of the conversation.”
The United States has imposed economic sanctions on the Venezuelan government, Maduro and some of its allies (including Saab), depriving the Maduro government of its main source of income.
“The United States supports the Venezuelan people’s desire to peacefully restore democracy through free and fair elections, and fully respects freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly,” U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said in a statement on Monday. “…We continue to support the Venezuelan-led negotiations to restore the democracy that Venezuelans deserve and alleviate the suffering caused to them by Maduro and his supporters.”