The regional elections campaign of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) officially began on Saturday.
The party raised a little over US$ 1 million in campaign funds over the weekend. All of this money was raised through ‘bonds’ or donations ranging from $2.5- $50 per member.
The party’s leadership also issued a call for a national ‘One day of wage’ day on September 13, where activists of the party donate one day’s worth of their wage.
Party branches also have various ideas for fundraising, including raffles, festivals, and additional bond sales.
Party spokespeople reiterated that the PSUV would not be using public funds in its campaign.
“The finances of the PSUV are public and transparent… the campaign will be exclusively sustained with money raised by the sale of the bonds and donations of party members,” said Vanessa Davies, party commissioner for communication and propaganda.
Party spokespersons urged that the opposition should similarly show its accounts and reveal where its campaign funds come from.
Party branches will also be busy in organising “patrols” that will ensure the mobilisation of citizens on election day.
On President Chavez’s weekly television program Alo Presidente on Sunday, Jesse Chacon, the mayoral candidate for the Municipality of Sucre, explained his proposal and campaign for the inhabitants of his municipality.
The plan involves four lines of work: water, security, garbage removal, and transportation.
Chacon declared that the most important thing for the electoral period that has started is construction of a new Sucre, based on participation.
“Since the internal campaign of the PSUV started we have constructed all the programs based on meetings with the Communal Councils, land and health committees, Mission Mothers of the Barrio, and the rest of the organizations of popular power, and in this way we can offer improvements to the quality of life of the population,” he said.
He argued, “It is necessary to bring to life the reality that is socialism on the small scale, where every citizen feels that their proposals are discussed, that they are listened to and that in some way they are contributing to the construction of the country that we want.”
He also announced that the Municipality of Sucre is consolidating the School for the Communal Councils, in which participants would be given the formation necessary to “construct socialism from the local level.”
On Friday, in the arena known as the Poliedro of Caracas, Chavez swore in thousands of spokespeople and promoters of the Youth of the PSUV.
Chavez made a call for struggle and organization. “You all must work together from the youth in the drive of the social movements and give a national character to the youth movement of the PSUV, so that it doesn’t remain in the municipalities.”
He also invited the “socialist youth to set (them)selves up as the most powerful voice of self criticism of the party”.
“The youth are synonymous with rebellion against the establishment, against what is bad, rebellion against the diversions, rebellion against the old vices.” He said.
Voter Registration Closes
Voter registration closed Monday night. According to law, registration must close 90 days before an election. More than 2,000 registration points had been set up around the country, with an emphasis on remote and difficult to access areas.
Yesterday, plazas and main registration points had long lines as people enrolled at the last minute. 30,000 people registered yesterday. The total electoral population is now 17 million (out of a total Venezuelan population of 26 million).
After the closing of voter registration there were celebrations in the street throughout the country and the Youth of the PSUV held a concert in the Plaza Venezuela in Caracas, as well in other states.
Tamara Pearson writes for Venezuela Analysis.
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This post was written by Tamara Pearson