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Venezuela bars EU monitors from July presidential election

Andreina Itriago Acosta, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

Venezuela withdrew an invitation to European Union election monitors, reducing the chances that the international community will accept the results of the upcoming presidential election in July.

The National Electoral Council cited the EU’s sanctions on some Venezuelan officials in its decision.

“It would be immoral to allow their participation knowing their neocolonialist and interventionist practices against Venezuela,” the CNE’s president Elvis Amoroso said Tuesday.

The EU later called on Venezuela’s electoral council to reconsider its decision.

“The Venezuelan people should be able to choose their next president in credible, transparent and competitive elections, supported by international observation, including that of the EU,” the group said Tuesday evening in a statement.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro wants the vote to have international acceptance to get U.S. sanctions lifted and boost trade and investment.

Venezuela’s decision comes two weeks after the Venezuelan National Assembly proposed to withdraw the invitation to the EU to observe the vote as a response to the group’s temporary suspension of some — but not all — sanctions on Venezuelan officials.

 

The CNE ratified the invitations to other observation missions from groups such as the Carter Center and the United Nations. It remains uncertain whether they will accept if the EU is not allowed to participate.

Credible international observation will be crucial to the legitimacy of the July 28 elections, which have already faced criticism after Maduro blocked his main opposition rival from joining the race. Their participation was part of a series of electoral guarantees agreed to between Venezuela’s political factions in October.

The EU’s last electoral observation mission in Venezuela took place in 2021, with a preliminary report flagging shortcomings and irregularities in the vote. The Maduro government dismissed its findings, accused the monitors of being spies and expelled them ahead of their scheduled departure.

Tensions resurfaced in mid-2023, when the European Parliament condemned a first disqualification to the opposition’s most popular leader, María Corina Machado.

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(With assistance from Fabiola Zerpa.)


©2024 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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