Political columnist and university professor Javier Biardeau. (SupuestoNegado)
Renowned political columnist and university professor Javier Biardeau discusses Venezuela’s upcoming regional elections this Sunday.
What influence is the National Constituent Assembly [ANC] going to have on the regional elections process?
I think there is uncertainty because there are a lot of factors in the equation. There is the issue of the balance sheet of expectations people have towards the ANC. You’d have to look at what people think about which expectations have been fulfilled and which have not. This is a fundamental point. Obviously, the achievement of public calm [with the end of the violent anti-government protests] is an accomplished objective. But taking on economic problems continues to be a pending challenge, despite the speech by President Maduro in the ANC when he proposed the eight laws. I feel that, although some measures have been taken, there is still an interrupted discussion around what the ANC can or can’t do in the economic arena. That tension is exploding in the heart of the ANC. There is also a great expectation in terms of what the ANC will do on the issue of corruption following the conflict with [former Attorney General] Luisa Ortega Diaz. This is in process. In any case, the regional elections are characterized by many uncertainties. It’s an election with greater uncertainty than in the previous years. It’s a strategic election; it’s not a conventional set of regional races.