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Would-be candidates for governors await decision from the MUD and the GPP

El Universal has toured major regions of the country to inquire about would-be gubernatorial candidates of the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) and the Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) coalitions

Incumbent governors’ term expires in December of this year

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  • ESTRELLA VELANDIA
  • MARLA PRATO
  • WALTER OBREGÓN
  • MIRCELY GUANIPA
  • NORA SÁNCHEZ
  • CARLOS BRICEÑO CONTRERAS Corresponsal
  • ANA CAROLINA ARIAS
  • TERESA LUENGO

05 de agosto de 2016 23:59 PM

PARA COMPARTIR

Would-be candidates for governors await decision from the MUD and the GPP

The last regional elections were held in Venezuela on December 16 2012 to elect state governors and state legislators. The result was a victory for the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV), which won the governorships of 20 of the 23 states. Incumbent governors’ term expires in December of this year.

Article 160 of the Constitution provides that governors shall be elected for a four-year term. Even though the National Electoral Council (CNE) has yet to release a decision, El Universal has toured the major regions of the country to inquire about would-be candidates of the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) and the Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) in the upcoming gubernatorial elections.

Carabobo state has 1,547,933 registered voters. Incumbent Governor Francisco Ameliach (of the ruling PSUV party) is seeking re-election. In the opposition camp, there are those who argue in favor of either holding primaries or choosing a consensus candidate.  Would-be candidates include former Mayor of San Diego Enzo Scarano (Cuentas Claras); the Mayor of the Naguanagua municipality Alejandro Feo La Cruz (VP), and secretary general of Accion Democratica (AD) Ruben Limas.

In Falcon state, the official sector is awaiting a decision from the PSUV national board to decide on a nominee. Rumor has it that would-be candidates include Alcides Goitia (PSUV), Mayor of the Carirubana municipality (Punto Fijo); former National Assembly Representative Andres Eloy Mendez (PSUV), and National Assembly Representatives Jesus Montilla (PSUV) and Victor Clark (PSUV). In the MUD camp, criminal lawyer Jose Amalio Graterol (Vente Venezuela), and Mayor of the Federacion municipality Elisanower Depool (Avanzada Progresista) have publicly expressed their aspirations, but most opposition spokesmen claim that the main priority for the time being is to unseat President Nicolas Maduro through a recall referendum.

Zulia state has 2,399,066 registered voters. So far there is no information available about would-be candidates.

Lara state has 1,249,155 registered voters. Incumbent Governor Henri Falcon would be seeking re-election. However, some say that he is “leaving it to chance,” in the event Maduro loses a recall vote this year and fresh elections are held, in which case he would run for president. Should this be the case, the torch would be passed over to current Mayor of Barquisimeto Alfredo Ramos. In the PSUV camp it is unlikely that Admiral Carmen Melendez would run again. The name of Luis Jonas Reyes, the son of Commander Reyes-Reyes, is repeatedly mentioned.

Monagas state has 620,530 registered voters. As to her re-election, incumbent Yelitza Santaella (PSUV) said that she would abide by the party's decision, but the GPP has not chosen a nominee. In the MUD camp the candidate will be selected through popular vote in a primary election. The roster of governor hopefuls includes former state governors Guillermo Call (Alianza al Bravo Pueblo) and Luis Eduardo Martinez (AD); National Assembly Representative   Maria Gabriela Hernandez (VP), and Mayor of Maturin Warner Jimenez (VP).

In Merida state there is no GPP nominee so far. However, during the presentation of his report and accounts, incumbent Governor Alexis Ramirez (PSUV) hinted that he would seek re-election, but other PSUV spokesmen say that the nominee will be Youth and Sports Minister Mervin Maldonado. The MUD will hold a primary election between 4 and 11 September to choose its candidate. So far the MUD roster of governor hopefuls includes Representative to the Legislative Council of Merida Ramon Guevara (AD); the president of Copei party in Merida Arquimides Fajardo; former National Assembly Representative  Carlos Ramos (UNT); the Mayor  of the Libertador municipality Carlos Garcia (PJ); former Governor Jesus Rondon Nucete (an independent); the Mayor  of Campo Elias municipality Omar Lares (an independent); alternate National Assembly Representative  Lawrence Castro (VP); Pedro Izarra (an independent) and Gabriel Manfredi (VP).

Barinas state has 553,177 registered voters. Incumbent Governor Adan Chavez (PSUV) will be seeking re-election. In the MUD camp the nominee will be selected through popular vote in a primary election. The roster of MUD governor hopefuls includes National Assembly Representatives Julio Cesar Reyes (Avanzada Progresista), Freddy Superlano (VP), and Andres Eloy Camejo (AD); Representative to the Legislative Council Wilmer Azuaje (PJ); the former Mayor of Pedraza municipality Frenchy Diaz (PJ); Fernando Monsalve (Copei); Representative to the Legislative Council of Barinas Francisco Betancourt (Copei), and Neyl Arevalo (an independent).

Capriles might run for re-election as governor of Miranda state

Two-time presidential candidate and incumbent Governor of Miranda state Henrique Capriles, the most visible face of the recall campaign, is running an energetic campaign, visiting each of the country's states to promote the referendum referred to in Article 72 of the constitution. His running again for governor is not ruled out. The roster of MUD governor hopefuls includes the Mayor of Sucre municipality Carlos Ocariz (PJ), and Vente Venezuela's leader, Maria Corina Machado, whose candidacy is allegedly encouraged by some sectors of the MUD. There is no official GPP nominee so far: However, National Assembly Representative Elias Jaua, the so-called "protector of Miranda," might run again.

Trujillo state has 524,918 registered voters. The GPP roster of would-be candidates includes incumbent Governor Henry Rangel Silva (PSUV); National Assembly Representative Hugbel Roa (PSUV), and Chairman of the Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Complex (CEAM) Hugo Cabezas (PSUV). The MUD has said nothing about primary elections to choose a nominee, as it is more focused on insisting that the recall referendum must take place this year. However, would-be candidates include the Mayor of Valera Jose Karkom (PJ); the Mayor of the San Rafael de Carvajal municipality Marcos Montilla (PJ); former National Assembly Representative candidate Manuel Aguilar Parilli (PJ); Francisco Gonzalez Cruz (VP), and Trujillo State Teachers Association President Iraly Guerrero (Avanzada Progresista).

Nueva Esparta state has 344,794 registered voters. The GPP roster of would-be candidates includes the Mayor of the Díaz municipality Marisel Velasquez (PSUV); National Assembly Representative Dinorah Villasmill (PSUV), and alternate National Assembly Representative Dante Rivas (PSUV). The roster of MUD governor hopefuls includes former Governor Morel Rodriguez Avila (Copei); the Mayor of the La Asunción municipality Richard Fermin (PJ), and the Mayor of the Mariño municipality Alfredo Diaz (AD).

Translated by Sancho Araujo

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