Campaign for Chávez homeland re-poll begins after opposition nominee barred

Caracas, Dec 22 (EFE).- Venezuelan politicians mounted aggressive campaigns on Wednesday for the gubernatorial election in Barinas after the top court controversially invalidated the Nov.21 polls in the Socialist party stronghold and the birthplace of late president Hugo Chavez.

The re-poll will take place on Jan.9 after the court called for fresh elections and disqualified opposition candidate Freddy Superlano, citing pending a probe against him.

The court noted that Superlano, on the brink of his electoral victory, had run despite being disqualified even as the automated National Electoral Council system had accepted his nomination.

Superlano had obtained 37.6 percent of the votes, just ahead of his nearest rival, who had 37.2 percent, according to projections released by the high court based on election panel figures.

The electioneering will continue until Jan.6, even as the political parties held their rallies days before the drive to woo voters opened officially, violating conduct of conduct.

Opposition candidate Sergio Garrido, backed by the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), posted pictures on his social networks, showing public events he held in some municipalities before the campaigning began.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela has nominated former foreign affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza as a candidate for the governorship of the key region, control of which is of great importance to the PSUV.

Argenis Chavez, the governor of Barinas and brother of the late president, withdrew his candidacy for the Jan.9 vote and abandoned his post as regional chief,

In a statement on Wednesday, the electoral body announced the start of the campaign, asking the participants to comply with electoral rules strictly.

“Political actors must comply with the legal provisions on campaigning,” the poll panel said.

Nonprofit Súmate noted that the election body had not published the regulations that would govern the campaign. EFE


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