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The Democratic Unitary Platform in Venezuela is denouncing a violation of voter rights after being unable to field a rival candidate to incumbent President Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming presidential elections. The main opposition coalition, Plataforma Unitaria Democratica (PUD), was blocked from registering presidential candidate Corina Yoris on the electoral authority’s online registration system before the deadline. This has raised concerns among neighboring states about the fairness of the upcoming elections, with accusations of blocking chief opponents from challenging Maduro.

Yoris, an 80-year-old academic, was named as the PUD candidate by Maria Corina Machado, the leader of the Vente Venezuela party. Despite being relatively unknown, Yoris’s clean record and grandmotherly image have appealed to many voters. Her candidacy has highlighted the challenges faced by opposition candidates in Venezuela, with many being blocked from running in the elections. Polls indicate that Maduro would lose by a landslide if voters were given a fair choice, but with no serious threats to his power base among the current candidates, the opposition is struggling to field a strong contender.

The National Electoral Council announced that Manuel Rosales, the governor of Zulia state, had officially registered for the election, but there has been no comment on Yoris’s eligibility to run. Several countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, have expressed concern over the opposition candidate’s inability to register. Maduro has been criticized for negotiating and reneging on electoral guarantees promised to the United States in exchange for relief from oil sanctions. The arrest of two individuals close to Machado has raised further concerns about the fairness of the electoral process.

The opposition’s struggle to field a viable candidate raises questions about the credibility and fairness of the upcoming elections in Venezuela. The blocking of key opponents from challenging Maduro has been denounced as a violation of voter rights, leading to calls for the registry to be reopened to allow for a more inclusive electoral process. The international community has expressed concerns about the situation, with some countries warning of potential consequences if free and fair elections are not allowed to proceed. The tension between the opposition and the Maduro government continues to escalate, raising doubts about the legitimacy of the electoral process and the future of democracy in Venezuela.

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