Who: The 17.5 million eligible voters of Venezuela.
What: Hundreds of thousands of people turned up to take part in the parliamentary elections in the oil-rich Latin American Bolivarian republic. “Everyone up and on the offensive! We will demonstrate again that the revolution is here to stay! Nobody Left Without Voting!” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sent this message to voters from his Twitter. The country’s opposition hopes to dent his popularity after boycotting the last elections in 2005.
Where: The voting takes place across the 23 states and the capital territory for the 167 seats of the National Assembly.
When: Polls open at 0800 in the morning on Sunday, 26 September. The polling is expected to end at 1800 in the evening.
Why: Venezuela is electing a new parliament as the term of the previous Socialist-dominated assembly expired. Pro-Chavez United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) aims to dominate the new assembly by gaining 2/3 majority in order to pass legislations without resistance from the opposition parties. The opposition denounces the nationalisation drive led by Chavez and warns most of the investors will flee the country if they lose control over their capital.
How: The country has seen an improvement in many aspects including decline in poverty, healthcare and education. However, high crime rate, inflation, unemployment and economic slowdown continue to challenge President Hugo Chavez’ popularity. Many opposition leaders have fled the country on charges of corruption and mismanagement, claiming they are politically-driven.