jueves, 25 de junio de 2015

Venezuelan opponents ready their candidates for polls

Venezuela's coalition of opposition parties, the Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), presented on 24 June its list of candidates for parliamentary elections scheduled for 6 December 2015, while comments by its members suggested a dose of confidence that the opposition could win a majority of seats. The next legislature would have 167 members chosen in 87 electoral districts, El Carabobeño and EFE reported. MUD's candidates were presented by its executive director Jesús Torrealba, who said they had been chosen through agreements among parties including Popular Will (VP, Voluntad Popular), Proyecto Venezuela (PV) and Justice First (PJ, Primero Justicia), El Universal newspaper reported on 25 June. They would include the former legislator María Corina Machado, who was forced to abandon her seat in 2014, and the former mayor and detainee Daniel Ceballos. Torrealba said choosing candidates through pacts was perfectly democratic, responding to criticisms about the opposition's failure to hold primaries. He promised a campaign focused on social and economic problems, not "jingles and songs." One of VP's national coordinators, Freddy Guevara, was separately reported to predict a possible opposition victory. He said in a radio interview that winning control of parliament was a first step that would "open the doors" to change in Venezuela, El Nacional reported. The ruling Socialist Party of Venezuela was in turn to hold primary elections to pick its candidates on 28 June. President Nicolás Maduro separately taunted the opposition and its hopes on 24 June and asked at a speech in Caracas, "What do you think, that the revolution will end on 6 December?" Press and media had earlier cited him as vaguely warning that his supporters would take their fight "to the streets" if the opposition took control of parliament.