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Venezuela Proposes Multiple Dates For Presidential Election

National Assembly President Jorge Rodriguez shows signed documents that agrees on various presidential election dates to propose to the National Elections Council (CNE), at the end of the signing cere

Venezuela's government, its allies, and various groups have put forth a proposal for the scheduling of this year's presidential election. The proposal outlines more than 20 potential dates, ranging from late March to early December, for the election to take place.

The proposal will be presented to Venezuela's National Electoral Council, which will ultimately decide on the election date. However, a key consideration is the agreement signed in October, stipulating that the election should occur in the second half of the year. Any date before July 1 would breach this agreement.

The draft document does not address the issue of banned candidates, such as Maria Corina Machado, a prominent opposition figure. Machado, who won the primary held by the Unitary Platform, remains barred from running for office by the government.

Election date decision rests with National Electoral Council.
Venezuela proposes over 20 election dates from March to December.
Agreement mandates election in second half of the year.
Banned candidate Maria Corina Machado excluded from proposal.
Proposal includes provisions for electoral observers and financial support.

The proposal also includes provisions for inviting national and international electoral observers to ensure compliance with constitutional and legal norms. Additionally, there is a suggestion to establish a financial support system for political parties and candidates, although specifics on these matters are not detailed in the document.

While the Unitary Platform did not participate in the drafting of the proposal, it has engaged in negotiations with President Nicolás Maduro's representatives, facilitated by Norwegian diplomats. The platform has raised concerns about violations of the Barbados agreement and acts of repression.

The proposal, which lists 27 potential election dates, urges the National Electoral Council to announce a date by March 31. This initiative builds upon the Barbados agreement, which aimed to set conditions for a fair election, schedule the contest in the second half of 2024, invite electoral observers, and address candidacy bans.

Despite some sanctions relief granted to Maduro's government following the Barbados agreement, the U.S. government reinstated sanctions in January after Machado's candidacy was blocked by Venezuela's highest court.

According to National Assembly leader Jorge Rodríguez, the new proposal represents an expansion of the Barbados agreement, encompassing a broader set of provisions for the upcoming presidential election.

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