This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Maduro Has His Eyes Set on Total Control
The National Electoral Council’s (CNE) storage warehouse suspiciously caught on fire last March. The fire burned voting machines and computers that were housed in the warehouse in Mariche, Venezuela, reported by BBC on Monday, March 9, 2020. The electoral council chief Tibisay Lucena said that a fire in its main warehouse near the capital, Caracas had destroyed most of the voting machines and the cause would be investigated. Lucena further expressed that the incident would not interfere with the election process.
In its report, the BBC explained that the Venezuelan Constitution designates the CNE as Venezuela’s official independent body responsible for overseeing and guaranteeing the transparency of all elections. And, acknowledged that critics of the government of President Nicolás Maduro say that four of the CNE’s five members are government stooges.
2018 Disputed Election
Venezuelans have disputed the fairness in past elections, particularly the election of President Maduro to a second term in May 2018. They believed the election was rigged and they have risen up in protest, which has been met with severe government oppression.
In January 2019, Juan Guaidó had said that Maduro’s 2018 election was fraudulent. He invoked an article of the Constitution that transfers power to the head of the National Assembly if the presidency becomes vacant and he claimed the country’s leadership as the interim president under its constitution. However, the Maduro regime blocked the re-election of Guaidó as the leader of the National Assembly by illegally and forcibly preventing him and the majority of his deputies from entering the National Assembly building. Maduro named another legislator instead, which members of the opposition denounced because there had been no quorum for a vote nor did it meet the minimum constitutional standards for the election.
December 6, 2020 Election
Venezuela plans to hold legislative elections on December 6, 2020, despite members of the opposition and international community urging a delay in order to ensure credible, fair elections. Venezuelans will be electing 277 representatives to the National Assembly for the period 2021-2026 which is the only Venezuelan institution not completely controlled by the Maduro government. The far-right parties supporting Guaidó have called for a boycott of the election, while other opposition candidates have encouraged the citizens to take part the election. Some believe that if this election is rigged, then Maduro’s government might seize total control of the National Assembly as well.