Two-time Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Capriles running again

Caracas, Mar 1 (EFE).- Two-time Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles is running once again as the Primer Justicia (PJ) party’s pick to lead the country, focusing first on the Oct. 22 opposition primaries during which the anti-Chavismo forces will select their candidate to go up against President Nicolas Maduro in the 2024 vote.

“(On) the 23rd anniversary of Primero Justicia, we have to give a gift to Venezuela. Starting today, we’re telling people: We have a presidential candidate and it’s Henrique Capriles … I think it’s a great gift because there’s no corner of Venezuela … where there’s not a poster of Henrique Capriles,” said PJ president Maria Beatriz Martinez.

At a press conference, she said that the party’s candidate – who is currently prohibited from holding political office – will be proclaimed at a “great national political committee meeting” to be held “on March 10.”

“This proclamation also establishes the clear, real and concrete possibility of showing the country what he’s been building and what he’s come out with and been expressing over these past six months with great clarity,” she said.

Regarding Capriles’ ineligibility to hold public office, Martinez said that “regrettably, the reality that exists in Venezuela (is that) Venezuelans’ political rights have been disabled.”

“We, as Venezuelans, are disabled because there is … a series of commitments that have not been honored so far … We’re going out, we’re organizing ourselves to defeat (President Maduro) and, specifically, he has to guarantee to Venezuelans their political rights and those political rights start with qualifying” people to run for office, she said.

Capriles was selected last Saturday as the party’s favorite in a consultation the PJ held with its supporters to learn their opinion about who should be the party’s candidate in the opposition primaries.

The former presidential contender competed in that process with Juan Pablo Guanipa, the former vice president of the National Assembly, the country’s parliament, and Carlos Ocariz, a former lawmaker and politician with a long career on the local level.

EFE csm/sb/bp

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