Parliamentary Elections in Venezuela: what scenarios for Maduro and Guaido?

Elections législatives au Venezuela: quel scénarios pour Maduro et Guaido?

The venezuelan president will win the legitimacy, if his party won the Parliament? The leader of the opposition, which is boycotting the parliamentary elections, will it be the victory announced the president’s camp? The election of 6 December will be the occasion of a new arms race between Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido.

Here are the scenarios after the recent announcement of the elections for the new unicameral Parliament of Venezuela, the only institution of the country currently controlled by the opposition.

Maduro: legitimacy in question

In addition to the date of the general elections, the election authority (CNE) announced last week a change in the number of seats in the national Assembly, which goes from 167 to 277. The official explanation? Take account of the increase of the population of Venezuela, which is currently about 30 million people.

But for the lawyer Rafael Alvarez Loscher, director of the legal firm IURISCORP, this new system seeks to support the ruling party, as well as minority sections of the opposition who will participate in the election, despite the boycott announced by major formations of anti-Maduro. In recent denouncing a “farce” election.

“The chavism movement (presidential) seeks to ensure a qualified majority of two-thirds (…) He does not want to see a national Assembly with all red (the color of the ruling united socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV), but rather to have a certain amount of opposition to give a certain institutionality” in the process, explains to the AFP Mr. Alvarez Loscher.

The increase in the number of seats opens the door of the Parliament to parties too small to be represented currently.

“The new national Assembly is coming!”, looks forward Nicolas Maduro.

The leading opposition parties reject the nomination by the supreme Court (TSJ), which is considered gained power, a new national electoral Council (CNE), so that this allocation is usually in Parliament.

The TSJ has also dismissed Tuesday the leadership of the party of Juan Guaido, Voluntad popular (popular Will), and handed over the control of this training to a rival of the leader of the opposition. Two other formations, the major had already suffered the same fate.

Nicolas Maduro is constructed “an opposition to his measure,” said Mr. Alvarez Loscher.

The national Assembly is currently chaired by Juan Guaido, which considers as illegitimate the presence of the power of Nicolas Maduro, and was proclaimed in January 2019 interim president of Venezuela.

It is recognized as such by more than fifty countries including the United States, who call openly for the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro and apply various economic sanctions against Caracas. Nicolas Maduro is being supported by Russia, China, Iran and Cuba.

Chavism, in spite of the rejection international, is being able to ‘get out of the political spectrum in the Parliament led by Guaido”, believes the political analyst Jesus Castillo Molleda.

There will be questions about the legitimacy of the new Assembly, but it is not clear yet if this could have political consequences.

“The government of Maduro will continue to be there,” said Mr. Castillo, Molleda.

The opposition had previously boycotted the legislative elections of 2005. Without opponents, the then president, the late Hugo Chavez, had strengthened his power.

Guaido: plays his political survival

The current legislature, which has put an end to fifteen years of hegemony chaviste, will come to an end on January 5, 2021.

But the victory of the opposition in the legislative end of 2015 has remained at the stage of the symbol. In the wake of the election, the Parliament had been declared to be in “rebellion” by the supreme Court, nullifying all his decisions.

From the 5th of January, Mr. Guaido will be three options: “stay in Venezuela and take the risk of being arrested, leave the country and enjoy the support of international allies (…), or pass the miracle of beating Maduro in favor of a political break,” which would divide the president’s camp, think Castillo Molleda.

Before the outbreak of the pandemic Covid-19, the leader of the opposition attempted to revive the protest in the street, but without being able to mobilise as it had done after its arrival at the roost in early 2019.

“There is a gap giant between the desire to change policy (83% of the population) and the hope of this change (27%),” according to the director of the firm Datanalisis, Luis Vicente Leon.

In addition to being weakened, the venezuelan opposition is divided on the action to be taken.

We can “move from the symbolic to the ridiculous”, warns the ex-opposition candidate for the presidential election Henrique Capriles, who calls for a rethink of the strategy against Maduro.

For the lawyer Rafael Alvarez Loscher, the legislative will “radicalize” the situation and the “crisis will be severe”, he complained.

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