The Spanish government’s balance comes a day after the EU’s monitoring mission made a similar assessment. “The regional and municipal elections in Venezuela on November 21 did not meet democratic expectations and are considered to be better than previous calls,” the foreign ministry statement said.
The Pedro Sánchez government echoed the preliminary findings of the EU mission in the election, which marked the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s ruling party and the return of a section of the opposition to the ballot. “There have been significant improvements … but serious shortcomings are not enough to last.”
The administration of the Maduro regime, for its part, expressed its “deep disappointment” over Spain’s statement, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said Wednesday night. Caracas dismissed the statement as “rejection of this unfortunate announcement, which underscores the need to maintain a position bent on Washington’s interests” and stressed that “the Kingdom of Spain must rectify that deplorable state of affairs condemning the most shocking defeats.”
Misuse of public resources and arbitrary disqualification
The EU task force lists abuses such as official campaigning using public resources, arbitrarily disqualifying candidates or placing discriminatory checkpoints at polling stations.
“Spain calls on the Venezuelan authorities to put an end to these practices (…) and to expedite negotiations with the opposition to guarantee that the next presidential election will be completely free and competitive,” the statement said.
Praising the opposition’s participation in these elections, Madrid showed the EU’s willingness to work with various actors in the electoral system “who returned to work in Venezuela 15 years later.
Despite the ongoing tensions with Caracas in recent times, the Spanish government has vowed to support a dialogue between the Maduro regime and the opposition aimed at overcoming the protracted political and economic crisis in South America.
Young (afp, france24, prensalatina)
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