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The Venezuelan opposition's strategy for nominating Gonzalez Urrutia as a replacement for Maria Corina Machado

The Venezuelan opposition's strategy for nominating Gonzalez Urrutia as a replacement for Maria Corina Machado

The career diplomat is 74 years old and has already been registered as a provisional candidate for the unionist Democratic platform. The coalition unanimously decided to approve his final nomination (EFE/Jeffrey Arguedas)

opposition Venezuela This was announced Friday for Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia As the unity candidate to face dictator Nicolas Maduro in the presidential elections scheduled for July 28, instead of the unqualified leader. Maria Corina Machado.

Gonzalez Urrutia, a 74-year-old diplomat, had already been registered as an “interim” candidate for vice president. Democratic Unionist Platform Omar Barboza, the coalition's secretary general, told the press that the coalition had decided “unanimously to approve” his final nomination.

“It is a historic decision by a people VenezuelaBarboza said. We have chosen the next president of the republic.”

This announcement comes after days of confrontations within the opposition over the union nomination.

The PUD registered González Urrutia as a presidential candidate after the last minute, after denouncing him for obstruction of the nomination system that prevented the academician from being nominated. Corinna UrisMachado's first choice to represent her.

The operation was carried out within the extension granted previously National Electoral Council (CNE), accused of serving Chavismo. The Ambassador was head of the MUD party, short for Round Table for Democratic Unity, which was later replaced by the PUD, and his nomination was in principle a “cover” while the unity candidate was identified.

Maria Corina Machado. EFE/Miguel Gutierrez

“We celebrate this decision and thank Venezuelans for their trust,” the party noted with an X. Sell ​​Venezuelawritten by Machado who “participated in the debate” to determine the name of the unionist candidate.

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Machado swept the Union for National Unity party's primaries last October, with more than 90% of the vote, and headed to the Supreme Court of Justice under a mechanism agreed upon in negotiations between the Maduro regime and the opposition to review disqualifications. However, the penalty was approved under a claim United States and European Union.

“Venezuelans, we are moving forward!” the X liberal leader wrote, ahead of the message she will deliver to the country in the coming hours, according to her party.

The decision was made after an intense day of meetings on Friday, hours before the deadline to replace candidates on the ballot closed.

“Edmundo González Urrutia was originally registered as a provisional candidate and today he has become a final candidate. He is already registered and his registration has been accepted by the National Electoral Council and no one has objected to it.”Barboza added.

González Urrutia did not accompany Barboza during the statement, and so far he has not commented on the announcement, nor did he do so when it was recorded.

“The Tapa candidate has become a national phenomenon without saying a word,” activist Brenner Barrios wrote on social networks, where pro-opposition messages proliferate: from the slogan “Edmundo for all” to musicians hinting at the surprise campaign.

Governor of Oil State, Zulia Manuel RosalesHe rejected his candidacy, which he also registered at the last minute, with his Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) party, which is part of the coalition. His recording was described as a “betrayal” by some opponents close to Machado, who for their part claimed that there was a “lack of trust” in Rosales, Machado's rival. Hugo Chavez In 2006.

Zulia Governor Manuel Rosales attends an event commemorating the 214th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, on April 19, 2024. Photograph: Isaac Urrutia/Reuters.

“On March 25, we saved the electoral process. “Today we honor our word before the country and the world, with a gesture that reinforces the united candidacy of Edmundo Gonzalez to defeat Nicolás Maduro on July 28.”Rosales wrote in X about his request.

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Other opposition leaders celebrated the announcement.

“Edmundo Gonzalez is a good man, willing, honest, educated, a man of agreements and consensus. In short, a servant.”said Tomas Guaniba, a member of the Primero Justicia party of the Democratic Union Democratic Party.

Barboza said Rosales's Un Nuevo Tiempo party and others who supported his candidacy must formalize on Saturday before the National Electoral Council their support for González Urrutia, with votes on those tickets going to the UDF party.

The leader concluded his speech by saying: “We have a unanimous candidate. We are not only united, but we are very united.”

(Information from Agence France-Presse)