Venezuela: Banning of Opposition Members from Holding Office

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 4, 2015


The United States views with concern reports of recent decisions by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council and Comptroller General banning certain members of the political opposition from running for or holding public office. These decisions clearly have the intention of complicating the ability of the opposition to run candidates for the legislative elections, and limiting the range of candidates that can be presented to the Venezuelan people.

Democracy must be inclusive. Its purpose is to provide a broad enough range of choice for voters to express their preferences in meaningful fashion. To this end, we call on all relevant Venezuelan authorities to reconsider the ban imposed on candidates, and reiterate our call for credible and timely electoral observation. We encourage the appropriate institutions to ensure that Venezuelans can exercise their right to participate in the upcoming elections, as candidates and voters, in keeping with Venezuela’s democratic traditions and in accordance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.