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Venezuela holds local elections

Venezuela holds local elections

People check announcements at a polling place in the councilors elections in Caracas, Venezuela, 09 December 2018. EFE-EPA/Miguel Gutierrez

EFE

Venezuela is holding local elections on Sunday, with 2,459 municipal council seats up for grabs on a day marked by the non-participation of the main opposition parties.

An EFE reporter visited several polling places in Caracas and verified that just one of them was operational at 7 am, an hour after the polls had been scheduled to open by the National Election Council (CNE).

Media outlets reported delays in opening some polling places and said that a few people were waiting there to participate in the election, for which almost 21 million Venezuelans are eligible to cast ballots.

A total of 28,773 polling places were established at 14,382 sites in 335 municipalities in Venezuela for this election.

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One sector of the opposition said it would not participate in the vote because the election was a “farce” without adequate guarantees against fraud, adding that it has reservations about the CNE’s impartiality.

In this group are two of the main parties opposing the government of Nicolas Maduro : the First Justice party of two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, and Popular Will, in which imprisoned Leopoldo Lopez plays a key role.

The organizations, along with Democratic Action and Un Nuevo Tiempo, are currently ineligible from participating in the election because they did not take part in the May 20 presidential vote, which they rejected at the time, calling it fraudulent.

Meanwhile, election official Tania D’Amelio said Saturday that almost 50 political organizations will take part in the election, including 11 “who do not adhere to” the platform of the governing socialist PSUV.

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