Venezuelan parties begin campaigning for regional elections
Sunday 24th of September
CARACAS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- With less than a month to go from regional polls, Venezuela saw campaigning begin on Saturday, with the ruling and opposition parties bitterly divided after months of protests.
The campaigning activities, which began on Saturday evening, will last through Oct. 12, according to the National Electoral Council (CNE), three days ahead of the elections.
Over this period of time, political parties and candidates can hire air time for advertising on private and public televisions. Political parties can use air time for three minutes per channel a day, while candidates can do so for up to four minutes a day.
On standard-format newspapers, candidates can take half a page a day for their uses, while they can advertise on full pages on tabloid media.
Furthermore, candidates for state governors can hire out cellphone operators to send up to three messages a week.
On Oct. 15, Venezuela will hold regional elections, including for the governors of its 23 states. The country is currently in a high political tension, due to an economic recession, a runaway inflation, and a lack of essential goods and services.
The government of President Nicolas Maduro has been criticized at home and abroad for setting up the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), a legislative superbody. It is seen as replacing the National Assembly, the parliament controlled by the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).
But ANC President Delcy Rodriguez told Xinhua in an interview that the ANC elected to rewrite the constitution "will shield" the country from U.S. sanctions and threat of military intervention.