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Venezuela’s Supreme Justice Tribunal has suspended the results of a primary that took place earlier this month in the opposition segment of the country’s political spectrum.
Bloomberg’s Javier Blas commented on X that the move was not surprising and said Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, had called the primaries a fraud.
Reuters reported that the suspension had come despite a deal between the opposition and the ruling party to each choose their own candidate for the coming presidential elections.
The report also recalls that the court’s decision follows the launch of an investigation by Venezuela’s attorney general’s office into allegations of electoral violations by some members of the opposition during the primaries.
“All effects of the different phases of the electoral process conducted by the National Primary Commission are suspended,” the Supreme Justice Tribunal said, as quoted by the AP.
The latter noted in its report that the primaries had drawn more attention than expected, with 2.4 million Venezuelans taking part of the vote including in regions considered strongholds of the ruling party.
This latest development may well reverse Washington’s decision to provide sanction relief to Venezuela in exchange for the Maduro government changing its attitude towards the opposition.
That relief, announced earlier this month, consisted in the U.S. lifting sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry for a period of six months. As a result of the easing of sanctions, analysts predict Venezuela’s oil production could increase by 25%.
Crude oil exports from Venezuela last month topped 800,000 barrels daily, which was the second-highest monthly export rate since the start of the year. Most of the exports went to China, Reuters reported in early October.
The U.S. State Department has warned it would reimpose the sanctions if Maduro and his party don’t stick to the deal they made with the Venezuelan opposition.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com