B.In the regional elections in Venezuela, the party of the left-wing head of state Nicolás Maduro achieved clear success, according to official information. Maduro’s allies won the gubernatorial elections in 20 of the 23 states, the South American country’s election commission announced on Sunday evening (local time). The Maduro camp also won the mayoral election in the capital Caracas.
The opposition won the gubernatorial elections in three states – including Zulia, the country’s most populous state. The commission gave the voter turnout at 41.8 percent.
It was the first time since 2017 that the Venezuelan opposition took part in elections again. The 2018 presidential elections and the 2020 parliamentary elections boycotted the main opposition parties because they assumed massive electoral fraud. For the current polls, the EU sent an election observer mission to Venezuela for the first time in 15 years.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by the USA, Germany and more than 50 other states as Venezuela’s interim president, did not vote in the regional elections, nor did he comment on the polls. A few days ago, Guaidó called for talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition in Mexico to be resumed. However, Maduro said on Sunday that the “prerequisites” were missing for the negotiations to continue.
The Venezuelan government suspended the dialogue with the opposition in mid-October in protest against the extradition of a businessman close to Maduro to the USA. The Colombian entrepreneur Alex Saab faces up to 20 years imprisonment in the United States on charges of money laundering.
The Venezuelan leadership had been negotiating with the opposition since September to end the long-lasting power struggle. The political conflict takes place against the background of an enormous economic crisis. The gross domestic product in Venezuela has declined by 80 percent since 2014 despite the oil wealth. Around five million Venezuelans left their country in the wake of the crisis. Maduro, who has been in office since 2013, has the backing of the army as well as Cuba, China and Russia.
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