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Hasta El Final

María Corina Machado won the opposition primaries with more than 90% of the vote (por ahora). Turnout exceeded all expectations, we may be talking about a 2.6 million all-around vote. Awesome, now the hard part: staying on track while she’s been banned from running and the country enters a weird phase of relaxed sanctions.

Will the Regime Arrest the Commission of Primaries?

Following Carlos Prosperi’s baseless fraud accusations, Chavismo is now saying that the participation numbers of the “far-right’s primaries” are inflated as part of a fraud. “Enough of the Machado woman, enough of the guarimberos, the fraudsters, the liars, the extremists!”, screamed Maduro in his television show. More worryingly, First Lady Cilia Flores asked that those “responsible of the fraud” face justice. This opened the door for judicial persecution against the members of the National Commission of Primaries, something that could blow up the Barbados agreement and the six-months sanctions relief.

Of course, as it has happened before, Chavismo has been using its co-opted opposition -like Bernabé’s AD and José Brito- to toss its fraud allegations. Nelson Rampersad -a member of MAS, a socialist party critical of Chavismo, who had meetings with the Commission- gave a government-sponsored press conference to heighten the fraud allegations. MAS, nevertheless, distanced itself from any declaration by Rampersad.

Soon thereafter, Jorge Rodríguez accused Jesús María Casal -presiden of the Commission- of stealing the identity of 2 million Venezuelans and committing “a crime.” Then, José Brito -the poster child of the alacranes– went to the Supreme Tribunal of Justice and asked for an investigation on the primary’s “irregularities.”

The result? Tarek William Saab, Maduro’s General Prosecutor, is now investigating Súmate and the Commission for the crimes of “usurpation of electoral functions, identity theft, money laundering and association to commit a crime.”

Preliminary Results

After the National Commission of Primaries’ server was blocked, the Commission released preliminary results counting 26.06% of the ballots(601,000 votes):

  • María Corina Machado – 93%
  • Carlos Prosperi – 4.7%
  • Delsa Solórzano – 0.77%
  • Andrés Caleca – 0.57%
  • César Pérez Vivas – 0.28%
  • Andrés Velásquez – 0.18%
  • Luis Farías – 0.11%
  • Gloria Pinho – 0.09%
  • Tamara Adrián – 0.07%
  • César Almeida – 0.05%

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