Venezuelans must register to vote by Saturday as presidential poll nears

Venezuelans must register to vote by Saturday as presidential poll nears

Today will mark the recently extended deadline for Venezuelans to register to vote in May’s presidential election. Although traditionally held

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Photo: AFP/ENE

Today will mark the recently extended deadline for Venezuelans to register to vote in May’s presidential election.

Although traditionally held in December, the vote was previously moved ahead to this April. Widely criticised internationally as a ploy to steamroll the opposition and secure Nicolas Maduro’s second six-year term, many have questioned the coming election’s legitimacy. Recently, the government postponed the election by a month following an opposition announcement that they would boycott any vote.

Despite much of the opposition standing resolute in non-participation, former state governor Henri Falcon has broken ranks and announced his campaign to challenge Maduro. This not only helps legitimise the election but also drives a wedge through the opposition—potentially undermining the effort to stop Maduro from rewriting Venezuela’s constitution.

Although Falcon is nowhere near as popular as other opposition leaders who are banned from running, recent polls have him leading Maduro in a two-man race. Regardless, Maduro’s hold on Venezuela’s courts and electoral council are tremendous. Expect him to do whatever is necessary to secure a government victory come May.

Delve deeper: Venezuela: on the path to authoritarian rule under Maduro

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