Replacement of presidential candidate does not affect the election date
Carlos Vecchio, a leading member of opposition Voluntad Popular party, said that candidate may be replaced until the last day
The eventual replacement of one of the two main presidential candidates in Venezuela due to death, resignation or permanent physical or mental disability, would not lead to a suspension of the presidential election to be held on October 7.
Carlos Vecchio, the political coordinator of opposition Voluntad Popular political party and coordinator in Caracas Metropolitan Area of Venezuela Command, stated that the legal scenarios for the replacement of candidates are specified in the current electoral legislation.
However, he admits that the health condition of President Hugo Chávez has led voters to ask themselves several questions: "What will happen if something goes wrong with the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) and he can not continue as a candidate? Will the ruling Psuv party be able to replace him with another candidate? Which is the dateline to replace a candidate?
According to Vecchio, after the official registration of President Hugo Chávez as incumbent candidate, the Organic Law on Electoral Processes (Lopre) provides in Article 62, that a candidate can be replaced due to his "death, resignation, permanent physical or mental disability duly certified by the competent authority or by constitutional or legal reasons."
Vecchio highlighted that Article 62 of Lopre "does not set a deadline for the replacement of a candidate."
He also stated that if the Psuv "does not register another candidate, elections must be held on October 7."
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.