Caracas, 17 Oct (EFE).- The Venezuelan government and the opposition Democratic Unity Platform (PUD) signed on Tuesday in Barbados a so-called “Partial Agreement to Promote Political Rights and Electoral Guarantees for All” regarding the 2024 presidential elections.
Venezuelan parliamentary president Jorge Rodríguez and former Caracas mayor Gerardo Blyde signed the three copies of the pact on behalf of the government and opposition respectively, along with another partial agreement on “protecting the nation’s vital interests.”
The documents were signed by around twenty members of the negotiating parties in the presence of Barbados’ Foreign Minister Jerome Walcott and representatives of Norway, the facilitating country, and other supporting countries such as the Netherlands, Russia, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
The ruling party and the opposition committed themselves to requesting the “agreed technical electoral observation missions,” which include the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union, the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies and the Carter Center.
Among the guarantees agreed were the updating and cleansing of the electoral register, with special days to promote the registration of new voters throughout the country and abroad.
They also undertook to carry out all the planned audits of the voting system and to promote a public discourse that will contribute to a political and social climate that contributes to the peaceful development of the elections “without external pressure.”
The parties agreed to ask the authorities to guarantee security and freedom of movement for all presidential candidates, who will also be freely chosen by each party.
The government and the opposition “recognize and respect the right of each party to choose its candidate for the presidential elections freely and in accordance with its internal mechanisms, taking into account the provisions of the Constitution and the law,” reads one of the documents.
They also recognized the right of political actors to transparent financing mechanisms and committed to promoting a balance between public and private media to guarantee equal access for all presidential candidates.
The dialog table had held three rounds in Mexico in November 2022, when the parties signed an agreement on the recovery of state resources blocked in the international financial system.
However, the dialogs were frozen again until Tuesday, without any of the agreements reached last year being implemented.
The last electoral process in Venezuela was in November 2021, during the regional elections, when several observation missions, including that of the EU, published an initial report that did not please Chavismo.
The report sparked a crisis that led various authorities to determine that no mission from the European bloc would return to the Caribbean country.
The ruling party claimed at the time that one of the mission’s observers who visited Venezuela had violated an agreement prohibiting it from “interfering in the internal political affairs” of the Caribbean nation, a claim the mission denied. EFE