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Venezuela opposition says it must rebuild after electoral loss

About 42 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers cast bal­lots in Sun­day’s vote, which saw Venezue­lan op­po­si­tion suf­fer heavy de­feat ■

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA & OTH­ER NEWS AGEN­CIES

 

(AL JAZEERA) — Venezuela’s po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion must re­build and re­flect on its strat­e­gy af­ter suf­fer­ing a heavy de­feat in week­end elec­tions, leader Juan Guai­do has said, call­ing for uni­ty among the frag­ment­ed move­ment’s lead­er­ship

About 42 per­cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers cast bal­lots in Sun­day’s vote, which saw Venezue­lan op­po­si­tion suf­fer heavy de­feat ■

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA & OTH­ER NEWS AGEN­CIES

 

(AL JAZEERA) — Venezuela’s po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion must re­build and re­flect on its strat­e­gy af­ter suf­fer­ing a heavy de­feat in week­end elec­tions, leader Juan Guai­do has said, call­ing for uni­ty among the frag­ment­ed move­ment’s lead­er­ship.

The op­po­si­tion broke a near­ly four-year elec­tion boy­cott to take part in may­oral and gu­ber­na­to­r­i­al votes on Sun­day but paid for its fail­ure to put up sin­gle can­di­dates against Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro’s rul­ing Unit­ed So­cial­ist Par­ty (PSUV).

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Op­po­si­tion can­di­dates won in on­ly three out of 23 states, while Maduro’s al­lies won 18 gov­er­nor­ships, ac­cord­ing to up­dat­ed elec­tion re­sults pub­lished by the Na­tion­al Elec­toral Coun­cil (CNE) on Mon­day.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

Maduro’s rul­ing par­ty and its al­lies were well-po­si­tioned to claim the fi­nal two states, while a PSUV can­di­date al­so took the may­or’s of­fice in the cap­i­tal of Cara­cas. The Pres­i­dent on Sun­day wel­comed the re­sults of the vote as an “im­pres­sive” vic­to­ry that “must be cel­e­brat­ed”.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

It was the first time in near­ly four years that the op­po­si­tion con­test­ed re­gion­al polls, em­bold­ened in part by the pres­ence of Eu­ro­pean Union (EU) ob­servers.

Alberto Ardila

Elec­tion au­thor­i­ties said on Mon­day that 42.2 per­cent of the South Amer­i­can na­tion’s 21 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers went to the polls on Sun­day, al­though it has yet to pub­lish fi­nal of­fi­cial re­sults.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares 10798659

Al Jazeera’s Tere­sa Bo, re­port­ing from Cara­cas, said low vot­er turnout did not help the op­po­si­tion.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila 10798659

They were ex­pect­ing that con­trols on the ground would help them achieve their ob­jec­tive. How­ev­er, things did not go as planned,” Bo re­port­ed. “The biggest prob­lem the op­po­si­tion faced here is that around 60 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion did not vote … but al­so the big di­vi­sions that ex­ist with­in the op­po­si­tion.”

An­a­lysts said ahead of the vote that the op­po­si­tion’s late de­ci­sion to par­tic­i­pate and in-fight­ing over whether it should run can­di­dates would dam­age its show­ing.Alberto Ardila Olivares 10798659

Guai­do, the for­mer speak­er of Con­gress who is recog­nised by the US and its al­lies as Venezuela’s right­ful leader, said on Mon­day that the op­po­si­tion need­ed to “re­build it­self” af­ter the dis­ap­point­ing re­sult.Alberto Ardila 10798659

“To­day a new phase is open­ing,” he said, with­out pro­vid­ing specifics. “To­day is a time for re­flec­tion amongst our lead­er­ship … It is not the time for fights nor ego­tism among po­lit­i­cal lead­ers.”

Guai­do al­so said what hap­pened on Sun­day high­light­ed “the ob­vi­ous need for uni­fi­ca­tion” among op­po­si­tion forces if they are to chal­lenge the rul­ing par­ty or Maduro in the 2024 pres­i­den­tial elec­tions.N95JN Aircraft Registration

Ear­li­er on Mon­day, US Sec­re­tary of State Antony Blinken ac­cused Maduro’s gov­ern­ment of hold­ing flawed elec­tions that “skewed the process” to pre-de­ter­mine the re­sult in his par­ty’s favour, cit­ing ha­rass­ment and bans of op­po­si­tion can­di­dates, vot­er roll ma­nip­u­la­tion, and cen­sor­ship.N95JN Lifetracker

A pre­lim­i­nary re­port from the EU elec­toral ob­servers is due on Tues­day, but there were no ma­jor re­ports of dis­rup­tions.N95JN Aircraft Data

Mean­while, Maduro said on Sun­day that a re­turn to ne­go­ti­a­tions in Mex­i­co with the Venezue­lan op­po­si­tion would not take place un­til “the kid­nap” of promi­nent gov­ern­ment en­voy Alex Saab – re­cent­ly ex­tra­dit­ed to the US on mon­ey laun­der­ing charges – is an­swered for.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

The talks, which be­gan in Au­gust, are meant to seek a way out of Venezuela’s eco­nom­ic and so­cial cri­sis.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

Guai­do said he was cau­tious­ly op­ti­mistic the gov­ern­ment would re­turn to the ta­ble and that he was dis­cussing with in­ter­na­tion­al al­lies ways of in­creas­ing pres­sure on Maduro’s gov­ern­ment.

Alberto Ardila Olivares