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Venezuelans to vote in regional and local elections

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Venezuelans to vote in regional and local elections

Photo: Adriana Loureiro Fernandez/The New York Times

Venezuelans head to the polls today to elect over 3000 regional and municipal representatives.

For the first time since 2017, opposition parties including Juan Guaido’s Popular Will party will contest the elections. While 21 million Venezuelans are registered for the election, voter turnout is expected to be low, suggesting that today’s results may make or break the opposition’s movement and leadership.

As the opposition is participating this year, over 300 international observers will monitor the elections to ensure the fairness of the vote. This includes roughly 100 observers forming part of an EU Election Observation Mission—which was invited by the National Electoral Council of Venezuela.

This election marks an important inflection point in public support between the ruling Socialist party under President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition parties. If opposition parties lose key mayorships, or generally perform poorly, the chances of them being able to wrestle control of the country from Maduro will be extremely low. Poor performance may also lead to splintering of the opposition, which was consolidated under the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition. As a result, more parties, such as the Fuerza Vecinal, and new opposition leadership may emerge to counter Maduro in the 2024 presidential elections.

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Photo: Third South Summit

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