CARACAS – Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC) convened by the Nicolas Maduro government will decide via the so-called Truth Commission installed on Wednesday which candidates may run in the gubernatorial elections in October, in which the opposition hopes to roll back the regional power of Chavism.
According to ANC president Delcy Rodriguez, the all-powerful entity requested that election authorities provide a complete list of the people who have registered to mount campaigns “with an eye to determining if any of the hopefuls has committed any violent act that has affected public peace.”
Rodriguez, Maduro and other Chavista leaders have blamed opposition leaders for the acts of violence that have occurred during the anti-government demonstrations staged since April 1.
“We have to prevent Venezuelan society from suffering the consequences of people who occupy posts and use the posts for destabilizing ends,” said Rodriguez during the ceremony to install the Truth Commission at the Bolivarian Museum in Caracas.
“This commission will be very careful ... to prevent any candidate for governor who has been involved in violence” from running for office, Rodriguez added.
The National Election Council this week declared closed the period for registering to run in the gubernatorial elections, which had been scheduled for December after two postponements but were recently moved up by the ANC to October.
Most of the opposition parties decided to field candidates despite the fact that they claim a dictatorship exists in Venezuela.
The parties have claimed that fraud was committed in the July 30 election to select the members of the ANC.
Numerous mayors and other public officials not aligned with the government have been arrested, apparently with an eye toward making them ineligible to hold public office due to supposed irregularities in carrying out their duties.
The Venezuelan opposition, which won an absolute majority in the December 2015 legislative elections, the last one in which both the opposition and the ruling party took part, are confident that they can prevail over Chavism in the October elections, although at present the Chavistas hold 20 of the country’s 23 governorships.