The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica‘s 112 elected National Assembly deputies met today behind closed doors today to elect Henry Ramos Allup as President of the National Assembly. Allup will take over the position from the PSUV’s Diosdado Cabello on January 5.
Primero Justicia‘s Julio Borges was the other contender for the title. He received 49 votes to Allup’s 62.
Speaking to the media after the results of the vote were announced, Allup said that Borges was a “high-caliber” candidate and that the Venezuelan people were the ultimate winners of the process.
Allup also spoke on the changes in tone he hopes to oversee at the National Assembly starting on Tuesday, saying:
We will also be deputies for all of those who did not vote for sure [because] there’s no hegemony here. We are all Venezuela.
He also called on Venezuelan voters to continue to play their role as the ultimate holders of power in a democracy, saying:
We ask Venezuelans to keep their eyes on us; to demand more from us, to watch whatever we do so that we can stay true to our promises.
Allup Brings Decades of Experience to National Assembly
Allup won his first election in 1958 at the age of 15 when he was elected student leader at his high school in Valencia, Carabobo state where he was born. After working for the Accion Democratica party – which he now leads – for for decades, he was first elected to the National Congress (the predecessor to the National Assembly) in 1994. He was re-elected in 2000, but chose not to run in 2005.
Aside from his time in Venezuelan politics, Allup has also served as the MUD’s representative to the Latin American Parliament, and has been the vice-president of the Socialist International since 2012.
Allup was elected to the Capital District’s district 3 with 69.83% of the vote, winning over his PSUV opponent by almost 83,000 votes.
PSUV Figure Lashes out at Aporrea
Maria Silva, a long-time PSUV supporter and a very visible media face of the movement, lashed out at the pro-PSUV website aporrea.org, calling the website “a nest for attacks against the revolution” on his television show last night. Silva suggested that the kind of criticism the website has been leveling at the PSUV and its leadership recently might do more harm than good to the Bolivarian movement.
The website, which has been a bastion of pro-PSUV articles and opinion pieces since its inception in 2002, has become slightly critical of the Maduro administration in recent years, calling into question its policies and apparent lack of introspection.
Aporrea fired back at Silva earlier today, saying:
Cover-ups, censorship, silencing debate and criticism and limiting yourself to just clapping along is not the response to the disaster that was December 6. Don’t keep saying it is!
Borges: TSJ Decision “Collapses Under its Own Weight”
Julio Borges spoke earlier today on the ongoing crisis with the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia‘s (TSJ) recent decision to essentially ignore the election results in Amazonas state, thereby stripping the MUD of its 2/3 majority in the National Assembly.
Continuing the fiery rhetoric with which the MUD has met the TSJ’s decision since it was announced, Borges said that all 112 elected deputies would go into the National Assembly together on January 5, and that the he trusted that the National Armed Forces would act according to their mandate on that day.
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