Weekly Report - 13 July 2023 (WR-23-28)

VENEZUELA: Opposition battling to compete

Eight Venezuelan presidential aspirants for the opposition Plataforma Unitaria Democrática (PUD) coalition participated in a debate on 12 July ahead of primary elections, which are scheduled to take place on 22 October, if the government led by President Nicolás Maduro allows them to go ahead. María Corina Machado, the frontrunner in the PUD polls who was barred from competing in next year’s presidential elections by the comptroller general’s office on 30 June, ostensibly for presenting an incomplete declaration of assets when she was a legislator [WR-23-27], took part in the debate. But just two days earlier a Chavista businessman and presidential candidate who professes to represent the “true opposition” presented a petition adjuring the supreme court (TSJ) to ban the primary elections altogether, accusing Machado of violent intent.

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