On July 1, the National Electoral Council (CNE, in Spanish) announced the new conditions applicable to the legislative elections scheduled for December 6. The number of members of the National Assembly (AN, in Spanish) is due to increase from 167 to 277. However, this increase would violate the principle of proportional representation as established in Article 186 of the Venezuelan Constitution. The opposition group led by Juan Guaidó has therefore published a statement setting out the conditions they deem necessary to participate in the electoral process. Further news on the elections is expected in the coming days.
The CNE also modified the system used to elect legislators: 52% are to be elected from a list, requiring a whole list of candidates from one political party to be voted on. The remaining 48% will be elected according to the “first-past-the-post” principle. Effectively, this means that votes are cast for individual candidates and the one with the highest number of votes wins. Furthermore, the rest of the electoral calendar was presented:
- July 13-26: Political party registration.
- August 10-19: Candidate registration.
- October 11: Election simulation.
- November 21-December 5: Election campaign.
In other news, the opposition has called for the appointment of a new CNE and the restitution of the boards of directors of the political parties intervened by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ, in Spanish), among others.
Since mid-June, political unrest in Venezuela has escalated following the appointment of CNE members by the TSJ, originally the responsibility of the National Assembly headed up by Guaidó. The European Union and the Contact Group for Venezuela are just some of the international entities that have spoken out against the TSJ’s measure.