By Gabriela Gonzalez.
The Canada-sanctioned president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Indira Alfonzo, announced this Wednesday, June 1, that the legislative electoral process will take place on December 6, the same date of the parliamentary elections of 2015.
“We have unanimously approved both the call and the schedule to elect the deputies for the period 2021-2026,” Alfonzo, who was appointed by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ in ) as were the other directors, told journalists after a board meeting in Caracas.
Alfonzo, appointed by the Supreme Court, was for years justice and headed the electoral chamber in that institution. She was sanctioned in 2018 for helping the Nicolas Maduro regime undermine democracy.
El Pitazo reported July 30 that two possible dates were on the table: Sunday, December 6, or Sunday, December 13. That same June 30, the electoral body decided to increase the number of deputies to the National Assembly from 167 to 277, violating the article 186 of the Constitution and Constitutional Chamber Ruling No. 68, dated June 5, 2020.
By law, the CNE directors have to be appointed by the National Assembly. Maduro controls the Supreme Court, having packed it with pro-regime judges in late 2015, while the National Assembly was still under his control.
Participation for the 2018 presidential vote in which Maduro claimed reelection was, historically, the lowest in Venezuelan history, with only 30% of voters taking part. That low turnout and allegations of fraud moved National Assembly lawmaker, Juan Guaido, to claim the interim presidency of Venezuela in January 2019.
On Wednesday, Guaido called the electoral plans of Maduro “an exercise of arrogance”.
The schedule leading to the parliamentary elections, as announced by Alfonzo, begins with a reopening of the voter’s registration rolls from July 13 to July 26.
A simulated election will be held on October 11, while the electoral campaign will begin on November 21 until December 5.
The Organization of American States, Colombia, and the US State Department have already rejected the conditions for the December elections, saying there is no guarantee of a free, fair and competitive election with Maduro in power.