The MUD appears to be headed for a showdown with the nation’s top court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) over yesterday’s challenges to the December 6 parliamentary elections that put the opposition bloc’s two-thirds majority at risk.
Earlier today, the head of the Vente Venezuela party, Maria Corina Machado, said that the TSJ was “trying to ignore the nation’s will”, and said that the opposition would “defend the deputies like we defended [the electoral process]”. Machado also had a bold prediction for January 5, the day the new National Assembly is scheduled to be sworn in: “The 112 elected deputies” will be sworn in.
Voluntad Popular‘s Freddy Guevara also spoke on the TSJ matter today, and called on Venezuelans to stand by their National Assembly on January 5 “with more strength” than they showed during the election. Guevara said through Twitter:
We’re making the call now: let us all together now, with more strength, take on the power that the people gave us. All Venezuela at the National Assembly on January 5.
Guevara said that the PSUV was “dying” and “cowardly”, and that the legal challenges before the TSJ were evidence of this.
TSJ Halts Election Ratification Process in Amazonas State
Earlier today, the TSJ accepted a legal challenge filed by PSUV National Assembly candidate Nicia Maldonado in Amazonas state which put a halt to the process of ratifying the election results in Amazonas state. As a result, the state’s four electoral seats are in a state of limbo until the TSJ unfreezes the ratification process. Three of the state’s seats went to the MUD, while the fourth went to a PSUV candidate.
Were the TSJ to sit idle on the case until after January 5, it would mean that the National Assembly session would begin with three fewer deputies for the MUD and one fewer for the PSUV.
The TSJ’s ruling on the motion filed by Maldonado can be seen here, in Spanish.
Results Close in Two of Six Districts
El Nacional provided a graphic yesterday which shows that according to the Consejo Nacional Electoral‘s (CNE) own numbers, the contested election results were close in only two out of the eight challenged districts.
Below, a breakdown of the vote difference separating the winning MUD candidates from the PSUV candidates in the six districts in question:
- Amazonas state, District 1 Vote Difference: 2,260
- Yaracuy state, District 2: Vote Difference: 2,330
- Aragua state, District 2 Vote Difference*: 10,847-11,114
- Aragua state, District 3 Vote Difference: 82
- Aragua state, District 4 Vote Difference**: 6,618 – 7,342
- Indigenous Representative, South Region Vote Difference: 28,312
* In Aragua’s District 2, the top two candidates were Amelia Belisario (Winner- MUD) and Melva Paredes (2nd Place – MUD). They received 113,624 votes and 112,575 votes, respectively, to PSUV candidate’s Sumire Ferrara’s 102,777 votes.
** In Aragua’s District 4, the top two candidates were Simon Calzadilla (MUD- Winner) and Mariela Magallanes (2nd Place – MUD). They received 87,891 votes and 87,167 votes, respectively, to PSUV candidate’s Elvis Amoroso’s 80, 549 votes.
The PSUV is challenging the votes won by eight MUD deputies in the six districts above. If the TSJ were to reverse the election result in just one of the six districts, the MUD would lose the 2/3 majority it currently holds at the National Assembly.
Maduro: Opposition Cheated in “Vulgar” Fashion
Speaking at a televised event earlier this evening, Maduro suggested that the opposition cheated in “vulgar” fashion by buying votes en masse, and that had it not been for their cheating, the PSUV might have won the election.
Below, a clip showing Maduro’s comments:
Maduro: The numbers, the results, are there. In the middle of an economic war, we finished the race like this [gestures with fingers]: dead even. If you count all of the electoral fraud they committed by buying votes in the country — it’s vulgar, the way they bought votes.
You know this. When it was my turn to be the leader of a parish, and a group of parishes, I knew all about it. I spent all day in a house eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, walking, playing soccer in a field, basketball, meeting people — I knew all about it. Many of you have told me things. “Look, here they are buying votes in such-and-such place”. They had everyone under control: the poll workers, the witnesses, everybody at this centre, that center and that centre. And they were doing whatever alongside the armed street punks. And they assaulted lots of revolutionary agents in their own neighbourhoods. “If you move people [to the voting centers], we’ll blow you up”. That’s what someone told me. Those are the words they used: “If you move people [to the voting centres], we’ll blow you up”.
What’s that called – isn’t that called a dirty war? They didn’t play fair. And in spite of the economic war and all of these things, we ended up like this [gestures with fingers]: dead even. They managed to increase their lead, well, through a bunch of irregularities. That’s what I know, that’s what I believe and that’s what it is. And we’ll find out many more things over the next few weeks.
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