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Over 20 million people set to vote in Venezuela elections Sunday

Over 20 million people set to vote in Venezuela elections Sunday
Francisco Manuel Perez Santana, head of the Mission of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Over 20 million Venezuelans are eligible to vote in the election of the South American nation’s next National Assembly, which will be held this Sunday, December 6.

Head of the Mission of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Francisco Manuel Perez Santana, explained that a National Assembly is elected every five years.

According to their constitution, the elected legislators will have to take up their positions by January 5, 2021, and continue until January, 2026.

There are over 14,000 candidates participating in the election, and these belong to 107 political parties.

The number of seats in the national assembly is now 277, which is an increase from the number of seats in 2015, when the Opposition won the national assembly.

“We have now 250,000 new voters so the distribution of these votes mean that the different constituencies can have one or two more representatives of voters in each constituency,” Santana explained, on the topic of the increase in seats.

A section of the Opposition is refusing to take part in this election, declaring it a farce and urging a boycott of it.

The head of mission of Venezuela in SVG indicated that the elections will be run by the National Electoral Council, which is the same body that oversaw 22 previous elections, including the 2015 National Assembly elections won by the Opposition.

“And it was the same institution that ran the election for President Maduro (President Nicolás Maduro) that they (some individuals and nations) didn’t recognize,” he said.

Therefore, he highlighted the character of the Opposition, which he submitted “can recognize one election when they won, but they don’t recognize when they lost.”

Santana compared this with President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, who has declared voting fraud in the November 3 presidential election.

“And that country by the way is the one that wants to show us the democracy and how to have trustable election,” the Head of Mission indicated.

The US is one of the countries that has imposed heavy sanctions on Venezuela, and recognizes Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó and current President of the National Assembly, as the legitimate interim president.

“..We have one of the more trustable systems in the region, maybe in the world. We audit the election 16 times,” Santana stated.

He explained that the Venezuelan made voting machines and software are checked by representatives in a transparent process.

“When someone votes, they have to place their finger by the machine in order to open it, it starts, different options are given, one is chosen, and then they choose to vote.”

A piece of paper representing their vote is produced by the machine, and the voter places this in the ballot box.

The counting of the vote is witnessed by citizens and “you take and count each vote for each candidate, and you see the result of the total that machine say and you can compare, okay this is 60 votes, and here are 60 votes,” Santana informed.

Santana says that he has absolute confidence in the system, and noted that the process will be observed by the Latin American Electoral Council, and they have invited CARICOM, and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, as Chairman of CARICOM.

Out of the roughly 30 million population of Venezuela, 20.7 million are registered voters.

For December 6, Santana revealed, “I would like to see a country, a happy people participating in a very organized way, respecting the physical distance, accomplished with all the health protocols and voting, voting for their preferred candidate, but in peace.”

He also stated, “The process will be clean, the process will be open, the process will be trustable, and the process will be beautiful. This is what I hope and I know that it will happen on 6th of December, and on 7, everybody to work for my country, everybody to improve the life of my country, in the way that we know how to work.”

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