The opening of the voting centers for the regional and local elections this Sunday in Venezuela began after 6:00 in the morning local time, at which time all the tables in the country should be installed, according to the mandate of the National Electoral Council (CNE).
Both the opening of the polling stations in the Caribbean country and the closing – set for 06:00 in the afternoon local time – is usually handled with a wide margin, leading to delays of several hours.
Venezuelans will elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 legislators to Legislative Councils, and 2,471 councilors, in elections in which voters will be able to choose the ruling party or the majority opposition, which has not participated in elections since 2017.
An hour before the official opening of the voting centers, Chavismo kicked off – known as a bullseye – with music and dances, accompanied by the traditional launch of the rocket that marks the start of each electoral day in the country.
The elections are held after a campaign marked by division within the opposition and constant criticism and warnings from officials of the Government of Nicolás Maduro to members of the European Union Electoral Observation Mission (EU-MOE), deployed after 15 years of absence.
In addition to the EU, observers were also sent to the country by other organizations, such as the Carter Center or the Latin American Council of Electoral Experts (Ceela), after being invited by the Executive and having signed the corresponding accompaniment agreement with the CNE authorities.
Likewise, dozens of politicians from different countries of the world will be present, all of them invited by Maduro and ideologically close to Chavismo.
21,159,846 Venezuelans are called to vote in these elections, although, according to various national and international organizations, more than 5 million people over 18 years of age have emigrated as a result of the political and economic crisis that the country has been experiencing for more than five years.