UK Statement on Venezuela Regional & Municipal Elections

A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said:

Regional and municipal elections were held in Venezuela on 21 November. These elections took place with observation missions from the UN, the EU and the Carter Centre watching.

While electoral conditions may have improved and the participation of more opposition parties was welcome, it is clear that the conditions necessary for free, fair elections fell well below the standards required. Opposition candidates were arbitrarily disqualified, state resources were channelled and media access skewed in favour of the Maduro regime, and the Venezuelan Supreme Court intervened in an inappropriate and politicised manner in the running of opposition parties. There remain serious structural deficiencies that need to be addressed.

We applaud the efforts of the opposition parties and candidates who participated, notwithstanding the many disadvantages and difficulties they faced. And we applaud the commitment to democracy shown by all voters, and the courage of those who voted for opposition candidates in spite of risks.

The UK will continue to stand with those who are working to restore democracy and rebuild democratic institutions and processes in Venezuela. A democratic transition through free and fair presidential elections, held in accordance with international democratic standards, is essential to help to bring an end to the multiple crises afflicting the Venezuelan people.

We urge the regime to return to dialogue with the opposition quickly and in good faith.

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