HAVANA TIMES – The all-powerful Venezuelan Constituent Assembly, approved on Saturday to move up the elections for governors scheduled for December 10 to October 10.
The Assembly, totally controlled by the Maduro government, approved the date change in the “exercise of its constitutional functions” and informed the decision to the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena.
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The decree states that “in view of the need to consolidate the peace that brought about the election of the Constituent Assembly on July 30,” it decided to advancement the regional elections for 23 governors, which have been pending since December 2016.
The opposition coalition inscribed its candidates for the regional elections, but faces criticism from its supporters, as it had already denounced a fraud in the July 30 Constituent Assembly election, in which it did not participate.
The opposition boycotted those elections, in which the CNE said that 41.53 percent of voters registered or 8.08 million voters participated. However, opposition projections indicated that participation did not exceed 12 percent.
Then, Smartmatic, which provides computer services to the CNE, denounced that participation figures were manipulated and inflated by at least a million votes.
The MUD ran as a united coalition in the legislative elections of December 6, 2015, in which it obtained the parliamentary majority with 112 of the 167 seats of the National Assembly (Congress). The legislature was then totally marginalized by the government controlled Supreme Court which annulled all of its decisions.
Governing party leader Diosdado Cabello, a member of the Constituent Assembly, said he would call for the disqualification of “violent” opponents who “attacked the country” in the anti-government protests that began in April and are now seeking a governorship.