IACHR: the State of Venezuela must ensure the political participation of the opposition in the presidential elections, without arbitrariness

April 5, 2024

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) rejects all obstacles to the participation of opposition candidacies in the Venezuelan electoral process, including those preventing the registration of opposition candidacies for the 2024 presidential election. Preventing the participation of selected or some opposition candidacies in the electoral process, corroborates that the Electoral Power does not offer guarantees of independence and impartiality. Consequently, the possibility of holding free, fair and competitive presidential elections is annulled.

From March 21 to March 26, opposition leaders denounced before the public opinion and the National Electoral Council that they could not access the automated system for nominations due to technical problems. When the deadline for the registration of candidacies arrived on March 26, candidate Corina Yoris could not formalize her registration on behalf of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) due to the persistence of such problems.

The Commission reiterates that these actions restrict the electoral offer of the opposition sectors, discourage political participation and perpetuate a repressive government. In addition to the obstacles denounced by the opposition candidate Corina Yoris, there are other anti-democratic acts such as the administrative disqualification of opposition leaders Maria Corina Machado and Henrique Capriles as well as the arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders such as Rocío San Miguel and leaders of opposition political parties among others.

In a democratic state it is fundamental that political participation be guaranteed under conditions of equality. In the Venezuelan case, it is crucial to lift administrative disqualifications and cease any act aimed at discouraging the participation of the population in matters of public interest. The IACHR calls for the urgent adoption of measures to reestablish the separation and independence of the Electoral, Judicial and other public powers. This is the only way to rebuild democracy and confidence in public institutions.

The IACHR is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), whose mandate arises from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission is mandated to promote the observance and defense of human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The IACHR is composed of seven independent members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly in their personal capacity and do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 067/24

4:40 PM