CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threatened on Friday to repeat regional elections in states where the ruling National Constituent Assembly (ANC) is not recognized, referring to the five elected governors-elect who have refused to swear before this power.
“Anyone who wants to be governor will have to recognize the National Constituent Assembly, but elections will be repeated in states where the Constituent Assembly is not recognized,” Maduro insisted on a mandatory radio and television channel.
The Venezuelan head of state also said that if the elections are repeated, “the candidates who won even though they did not want to respect the law and the Constitution will be disqualified.”
From the act of taking power of the governor-elect Lara (west), Chavista Carmen Melendez, the president said that the rules of the game must be respected.
Last Sunday, Chavistas won in 18 states and the opposition in five, in the regional elections to choose the governors.
The Venezuelan opposition has said that its five governors will not be sworn in to the Constituent Assembly.
The Venezuelan law establishes that the new governors of the 23 states of the country must be sworn in in the respective Legislative Council of each region, of which 22 of the 23 that exist are in the hands of the ruling party.
However, a decree published in the Official Gazette circulating Friday in the media states that “Legislative Councils will not be able to swear to those proclaimed governors and proclaimed governors who have not previously sworn before this National Constituent Assembly,” composed of Chavistas.
In that sense, opponents Juan Pablo Guanipa, elected by the Venezuelan state of Zulia (northwest), and Alfredo Diaz, who won in Nueva Esparta (northeast), pointed out on Twitter and Instagram, respectively, that the Legislative Councils of their states have refused to swear them into their offices.
The same has happened with the governor-elect of the state of Tachira (west), the opposition figure Laidy Gomez, a member of her team told EFE.
Niloha Delgado, president of the Legislative Council of Merida – another state where the opposition was victorious –, told reporters on Friday that the governor-elect Ramon Guevara will not be sworn into the body “until he goes to the National Constituent Assembly.”
The president of the Legislative Council of the state of Anzoategui, Julio Millan, warned the same to the governor-elect of the state, Antonio Barreto Sira, in statements to the media.
On the other hand, allegations of fraud following the proclamation of the Chavista Justo Noguera in Bolivar (south) continued on Friday with the statement of the opposition candidate for that state’s government, Andres Velasquez, who told the press that the vote count contradicts the official results.
The opponent showed minutes that were signed by the witnesses of the government and the opposition and which showed he was awarded the victory.
The CNE, according to the complaint, would have changed the results that appeared to inflate the final results of Noguera’s votes and decrease those of his rival.
During this day, it was also known that the Venezuelan government intervened in the regional police bodies in the five states where their candidates for governors were defeated by the opposition Democratic Action Table (MUD) in the regional elections last Sunday.
This move has already been rejected by several opposition leaders, including the governor-elect of Zulia, Juan Pablo Guanipa, who said that the regional police bodies should be controlled by the local government.
Speaking to the media, Guanipa also reported that he had a meeting with his comrades who were winners in the other four states and agreed to a process of “consultations” with society about the crisis that is being experienced, without giving further details.
He referred to the issue of the swearing in of governors of states and said that the Constitution states that Venezuela is a “federal and decentralized” country, that there is a principle of “state autonomy” and that “it is incumbent upon the governor of each state to be sworn in by the Legislative Council.”