On December 6th of 2015, parliamentary elections were celebrated in Venezuela, where people voted for those who today are the 167 deputies, from the different entities of the country in the National Assembly, including indigenous representatives.
The National Electoral Council (Spanish: CNE), one of the branches of the Venezuelan governments, has the responsibility of organising and guaranteeing the transparency of the whole process.
For this opportunity, the Union of South American Nations (USAN), MERCOSUR, CELAC, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), The Latino American Parliament (PARLATINO), the Organizations of American States and other international agencies were invited to observe this political election.
The United Nations were rejected as an international observer by the Venezuelan government; nevertheless, they’ve made some statements in which they demanded the government to guarantee the security of the citizens because of the risks that the current high political polarization represents. The United Nations also took position against the attacks to the opposition, the killing of Luis Manuel Díaz, an opposition leader, the sentencing of Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez, and the censorship of the media as well.
On November 10th, the General Secretary of the Organization of American States published an open letter to National Electoral Council Rector, Tibisay Lucena, in which he denounced that the Venezuelan government was not guaranteeing the transparency of election process. It is important to say that, six months before the elections, the government politically disqualified several opposition leaders to participate in the elections of December 6th.
However, the whole process was completed with civic participation of the people, and with a wide presence of the military coordinated by the Ministry of Defence; this is called “Republic Plan”. Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the Ministry of Defence, declared that the Armed Force would guarantee the support and the protection of the electoral results.
On December 7 at 12:30am, the first newsletter was sent by Tibisay Lucena, the president of CNE with the following results, the political parties that compose the so called Democratic Unity Roundtable (Spanish: MUD, Mesa de la unidad democrática): 99 deputies. Meanwhile, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Spanish: PSUV): 46 deputies.
Once these results were published, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro spoke to the nation saying that the electoral process was developed in peace and recognizing the victory of the opposition, and also declaring that the real winner was the “economic war”. Some hours later, the second newsletter was given by CNE, in which the Democratic Unity Roundtable increased the number of their representatives to 110 deputies and 55 by the PSUV.
On December 8th, the elections finally resulted in the victory of the MUD with 112 including the indigenous representation from 167 total deputies of the National Assembly; this is 7,726,066 total votes, this represents a qualified majority in the Parliament. Meanwhile PSUV achieved 5,622,844 votes. The elected representatives will last a 5 year constitutional period from January 5th of 2016 to January 5th of 2021.
The current president Nicolas Maduro and his government, said that the Venezuelan electoral system was strong and transparent, but in spite of this, he also seemed to show the nation a great political maturity and a very democratic attitude. A few days after the elections, he denounced what he called an “electoral fraud” through vote buying by some opposition candidates and a irregular situation with respect to the large quantity of invalid votes. Nicolas Maduro also assured to have proof of this.
Notwithstanding the deputy proclamation process made by the National Electoral Council, On December 30th, Maira Alfonzo Izaguirre, one of the judges of Supreme Court, ordered the suspension of the proclamations of deputies in Amazonas state because of some irregularities denounced by PSUV and the Nicolas Maduro’s government. This affected the functions of three MUD deputies. This situation was rejected by all of the opposition movements and they have denounced a “judicial coup” in order to reduce the qualified majority achieved by the MUD.
On the other hand, some electoral experts declared that the sentencing of the Supreme Court lacks of effectiveness, and it is very important to say that according to the number 200 article of the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the national deputies enjoy parliamentary immunity from the moment of the proclamation.
However, the new National Assembly was installed on January 5th of 2016, where Henry Ramos Allup, an opposition leader, was officially declared as the president of the Parliament. During the event, the Venezuelan opposition swore in 109 deputies due to the suspension of three of their parliamentarians. While around the Assembly several security cordons were installed.
During the acts, some deputies had the right to speak to the assembly, along with their declarations, there were many clashes of words between the opposition and the PSUV representatives. As a result of the conflict between them, the PSUV deputies left the hemicycle.
In the subsequent days, president Nicolas Maduro and the Supreme Court have been executing actions that are detrimental to the decision of the sovereign people of Venezuela, declaring the new National Assembly, in contempt. With all these actions, the democracy and stability in Venezuela is seriously affected by the increasing institutional crisis and the conflict of the powers of State while the Venezuelan society suffers the consequences of the severe economic crisis, with high levels of inflation and shortage of basic products.