HomeTop StoriesVenezuela's opposition rejects pact to recognize July voting results

Venezuela’s opposition rejects pact to recognize July voting results

(Bloomberg) — The Venezuelan opposition refused to finalize a pact proposed by the president Nicolas Maduro to force candidates to acknowledge the results of the July 28 presidential election, increasing tensions between the parties ahead of the vote.

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Maduro on Thursday ratified the agreement with seven little-known candidates. Opposition hopeful Edmundo González had indicated he would not sign it because the government had already violated an electoral agreement by withdrawing an invitation to the European Union to attend the vote as an observer. An opposition dissident, Enrique Márquez, also did not sign the deal.

At the same time, the government has stepped up its repression of political dissent in the days leading up to the official start of the campaign on July 4, arresting four opposition activists and journalists, while barring mayors from provincial towns where González and opposition leader María Corina Machado have held rallies.

González, who is leading Maduro by at least 20 percentage points in voter polls, said the agreement was an “indication of the biases characterizing the unequal campaign.” Still, he said there was no reason to doubt that he would submit to the will of the people.

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The agreement obliges signatories, among other things, to compete “in a climate of peace” so that during the electoral process and beyond “the will of the people is not ignored by acts of violence and destabilization.”

Maduro, who reportedly still believes he can beat González with just enough votes but has backup plans to stay in power if he doesn’t, has anticipated that the opposition is getting ready to say there is of fraud. protest.

On Wednesday, the Carter Center accepted the Venezuelan election authority’s invitation to observe the elections. The Atlanta-based organization will deploy a technical mission on June 29. In a note to clients, Barclays analysts Alejandro Arreaza and Jason Keene said this “should contribute to the transparency of the process and could also play a critical role in mitigating the risk of potential manipulation.”

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