| 4 December 2023, Monday |

Venezuela parliament chooses new members of electoral board

Venezuela’s parliament has appointed the new members of a five-person National Electoral Council (CNE) to oversee elections in the Latin American country at the local, regional, and national levels for a seven-year period.

In accordance with the Venezuelan constitution, the new CNE rectors, who have ten substitute deputies, were sworn in at the National Assembly on Tuesday to represent the civil society and citizen power as well as the faculties of Law and Political Science from all national universities across the country.

The main rector for the civil society is Alexis Corredor Perez, who will have Carlos Quintero Cuevas as the first alternate and Francisco Garces as the second alternate, Telesur reported.

The Caracas-based news network said Pedro Calzadilla was appointed as the principal rector for the citizen power sector, Gustavo Vizcaino as his first substitute, and Saul Bernal Pena as the second substitute.

The main rector for the faculties of Law and Political Science from all national universities is Roberto Antonio Picon, with Conrado Ramon Perez as his first substitute and Leon Antonio Arismendi as his second, it added.

Picon, who was chosen as the universities’ main rector and has links to the government opposition, told Reuters in an interview that the newly-elected CNE board was “the most balanced” in the past 17 years.

However, he added, “We will try to overcome all the obstacles that exist so that people again believe in the vote as an instrument of change.”

President of the National Assembly Jorge Jesus Rodriguez Gomez described the CNE members as the “voice of the people” and responsible for upcoming democratic elections in the Latin American country.

“They will be the administrators of the voice of the people that will be expressed in elections in the next seven years in Venezuela,” he said during the session.

Regional elections are due to be held in Venezuela before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Washington would work with its partners in the region to keep the pressure on Venezuela.

Blinken claimed in pre-recorded remarks addressing a conference on Latin America that the “Maduro regime has systematically repressed the rights of its citizens.”

“We will continue to work with our partners across the region both to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and to exert pressure on the regime so the country can peacefully return to democracy,” he claimed.

Reuters reported that the administration of US President Joe Biden was reviewing the brutal sanctions imposed on the Venezuelan nation by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

But many Venezuelans believe that Trump and Biden pose the same threat to their country.