As Venezuela’s December 6 elections loom nearer, the political landscape has been hit hard by hunger strikes and electoral bias claims. More recently, new gender quota laws have been added into the mix.
Opposition leader María Corina Machado has been barred from public office for a year, in a move which could quash her chances of election.
Machado, hated by Maduro supporters for being a wealthier English-speaking woman, could reach congress if she is elected later in the year.
— María Corina Machado (@MariaCorinaYA) July 23, 2015
News of her barring has even reached U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson, tweeting “inclusion and fair conditions are necessary for free and unbiased elections in Venezuela.”
La inclusión y condiciones equitativas son necesarias para elecciones libres e imparciales en #Venezuela. (2/2)
— Roberta Jacobson (@WHAAsstSecty) July 15, 2015
Jacobson added that she was “concerned”, as the country looks likely to fail to meet with the gender quota laws.
A crucial step
As current President Nicolás Maduro’s popularity continues to diminish on a daily basis, as the country is left battling basic needs, a sickly currency system and black outs, change is long overdue.
The country’s Datanalisis found that 41.8 percent of Venezuelans identify with the opposition, while only 22.3 percent identify as chavistas. A survey also uncovered that 68.8 percent of Venezuelans have a negative impression of the current Nicolás Maduro presidency.
Yet following the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) revealing a new electoral ruling – 40 percent of party candidates must be female – gender quota requirements have provoked a backlash from opposition party the MUD.
Despite Machado’s future remaining uncertain, there remains a glimmer of hope for women in politics in Venezuela.