Venezuela: Opposition Leader Quits MUD Political Party

Venezuela’s opposition is now even more divided after Henrique Capriles announced that he is quitting the MUD political party.

Capriles, who was a presidential candidate in 2014, said his decision was in protest for what the four opposition governors did a few days ago. The four of the five governors elected from the opposition decided to pledge allegiance to the constituent assembly, which some of the opposition sees as illegitimate.

The constituent assembly was heavily criticized since it was announced and elected. It later led to sanctions but has continued making decisions and it was already seen as an obstacle prior to the regional elections. The five opposition governors elected ten days ago reportedly had an agreement not to pledge allegiance to the constituent assembly. But that changed when the four pledged allegiance. Juan Pablo Guanipa, who was elected as Zulia’s governor, was the only opposition member not to pledge allegiance.

President Nicolas Maduro had warned that there would be elections again in the states where the governors would not pledge allegiance. The five opposition governors were elected in a controversial election, which saw the opposition barely gain ground on the government after experts had predicted a big victory. The government won in 18 states and the opposition in five. The shocking result has led to calls of fraud but opposition member Henri Falcon has accepted the loss in the state of Lara.

Before the regional elections, government officials had announced that all governors elected would have to accept the constituent assembly.

Henrique Capriles, who lost a controversial and close presidential election three years ago, said on Tuesday that he would not be part of the opposition because it is not unity as a concept or a vision.

The five opposition governors had previously skipped the event where the other governors pledged allegiance. The five opposition governors reportedly had an agreement to not accept the constituent assembly.

The governors of Tachira, Anzoategui, Merida and Nueva Sparta later changed their minds and pledged allegiance, sparking criticism from other opposition members and supporters.

Henrique Capriles, who represented the opposition in the 2012 and 2014 presidential elections, last served as the governor of Miranda. The presidential elections are scheduled for 2018 but it appears that the opposition will have to look for a new candidate.