Brazil is pulling out of a South American mission to observe legislative elections in Venezuela over what it says is the socialist government’s veto of the choice to head the delegation.
Brazil’s highest electoral tribunal said Tuesday that a months-long attempt to organize a mission under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations had been frustrated by Venezuela’s refusal to accept the group’s choice of former Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim to lead the mission.
The announcement was bad news for President Nicolás Maduro, having previously received support from the Latin American heavyweight during his contested 2013 election.
The December 6 election will be difficult for the ruling Socialist Party, as inflation and a shrinking economy will have a marked effect on those turning out the polls.
“In silence and shadows, the Maduro government imposed a veto,” leader of the opposition Democratic Unity coalition, José Torrealba said in a recent statement. “We reject and denounce the unacceptable conduct of the Maduro government and its electoral agents.”
The tribunal also accused Venezuela of dragging its feet on a proposal to let the group audit the country’s electronic voting system.
Venezuela’s opposition has decried the lack of outside observation of the crucial December vote amid President Nicolás Maduro’s refusal to invite the European Union and Organization of American States.
“Hopefully President Carter and the Carter Center come to see our social processes, our processes of change,” Maduro said.