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Venezuela Presidential Campaign Officially Begins

The electoral campaigning period in Venezuela for the April 14 presidential election officially began on Tuesday at 6a.m. local time.  The period will last for ten days, during which time the candidates, their campaign workers and political supporters will present their policy proposals to the country.

The National Electoral Council (CNE), an independent branch of government in charge of elections, confirmed on Monday that the campaign period will end Thursday, April 11, at 11p.m. local time.  The CNE also called upon political organizations to respect advertising rules and to conduct campaigns that are respectful of other candidates and the general public.

“This campaign period will take place in a delicate emotional context, as such, we urge all parties to avoid unnecessarily exacerbating the situation and to avoid language that can cause tension in the electoral atmosphere,” said Tibisay Lucena, President of the CNE.

She also noted that all of the candidates know that there is no space for excess or improvisation at this time. “This process requires an additional special effort to maintain the conditions that are favorable for a successful [election],” she asserted.

Moreover, Lucena stressed that respect for the rules will be key for this electoral process, which is why sixty electoral attorneys have been deployed throughout the country.

Nicolás Maduro, candidate from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Great Patriotic Pole coalition, is favored to win in the latest polls with a 10 point lead.
Maduro will begin his campaign in Venezuela’s plains, specifically in the mid-western state of Barinas, the birthplace of Hugo Chávez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution.

The city of Barinas will kick off a campaign that will see Maduro visit every region of the country and, as his Bolivarian supporters hope, it could eventually see him headed into office in Miraflores Palace.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, supported by the Democratic Unity Committee (MUD), will begin his campaign in Maturin, in the north-eastern state of Monagas.
Capriles began openly campaigning 15 days ago, with a tour of various regions of the country, despite the fact that the official campaign schedule established by the CNE set April 2 as the first day of campaigning.

In addition to Maduro and Campriles, there are five other candidates: Reina Sequera (of the Labor Power Party), Maria Bolivar (of the Democratic Party United for Peace and Liberty), Eusebio Mendez (of New Vision for My Country), and Julio Mora (of Democratic Unity).

Telesur / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / April 2, 2013

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