Venezuela: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the regional and local elections
On 21 November, regional and local elections were held for 23 governors, 335 mayors and more than 2,700 state legislative councillors and municipal councillors.
In line with its commitment to support a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela and in response to an invitation from the National Electoral Council, the European Union deployed an Electoral Observation Mission to undertake an independent, impartial and technical assessment of all aspects of the electoral process.
Today, the Mission issued a preliminary statement, which is its first assessment of the electoral process after election day. The Mission confirmed that these elections marked the return of the majority of political parties and candidates to the electoral arena. The presence of our Mission allowed for a better understanding and assessment of the conditions in which these elections have taken place.
These elections have been organised under better electoral conditions compared to previous processes, including through a renewed National Electoral Council widely seen as the most balanced of the last 20 years. However, the Mission observed structural deficiencies, such as arbitrary political disqualification of candidates, unequal access to the media and the extensive use of state resources during the electoral campaign.
The EU Observation Mission will stay in Venezuela until the end of the electoral process and will later publish a final report including recommendations to improve future electoral processes, based on international and regional commitments signed by Venezuela.
The European Union trusts this work can contribute to finding a solution to the crisis in Venezuela by facilitating the holding of credible, inclusive and transparent elections at all levels in the future, including at the presidential level.