CARACAS – Venezuelan lawmaker Henry Ramos Allup said on Sunday that participation in the primaries being held by the opposition MUD alliance to select single candidates for the gubernatorial elections next month is “above expectations.”
“The election commission will have to send more material immediately, more ballots because in some locations the … ballots have run out, meaning that participation is … above expectations,” said Ramos Allup at a press conference where he provided an assessment of the opposition coalition’s primaries midway through election day.
He said that the primaries were transpiring normally, adding that there had been a spontaneous mobilization “above the levels of mobilization that logically all candidates enjoy.”
“Those with automobiles, because they’re feeling a motivation to participate … is what’s giving more significance and more color to this process of participation,” he said.
Earlier, the president of the MUD Primary Commission, Francisco Castro, said that the Venezuelan opposition was expecting that 10 percent of the registered voters would participate in the primaries being held in 19 of the country’s 23 federal states.
The voting officially began at 7:00 am, although in some states there were some delays in getting started.
The MUD is not holding primaries in four states – Vargas, Carabobo, Nueva Esparta and Anzoategui – where the opposition parties have already agreed on unitary candidates to represent the alliance in the upcoming gubernatorial elections.
The gubernatorial elections were originally scheduled for December 2016, but they were postponed twice by the authorities, who ultimately scheduled them for October, although no specific date has yet been announced for them.
Ramos Allup said that he was convinced that more than 65 percent of the voting public will participate in the elections in October.