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Thursday, 3 May 2018 - Brussels
Presidential elections in Venezuela

European Parliament resolution of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela (2018/2695(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its numerous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Venezuela(1), of 18 December 2014 on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela(2), and of 12 March 2015(3), 8 June 2016(4), 27 April 2017(5) and 8 February 2018(6) on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–  having regard to the declarations of ‘El Grupo de Lima’ of 23 January 2018 and 14 February 2018,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 13 November 2017 and 22 January 2018,

–  having regard to the declaration of 26 January 2018 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the latest developments in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 8 February 2018 by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms Fatou Bensouda,

–  having regard to the declaration of 19 April 2018 by the VP/HR on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the declaration of 20 April 2018 by the Organisation of American States (OAS) on the worsening humanitarian situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 23 April 2018 by its Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the early presidential elections called by the internationally non-recognised National Constituent Assembly and endorsed by the National Electoral Council (CNE) are now to be held on 20 May 2018; whereas the CNE decided to limit participation in simultaneous local and regional elections to those parties that present candidates for the presidential elections;

B.  whereas on 25 January 2018 the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to exclude the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), a coalition of opposition parties, from the presidential elections, which represents a serious breach of the principle of equitable elections, prohibiting opposition candidates from competing freely and on equal terms in the elections;

C.  whereas the conditions for credible, transparent and inclusive elections are not met, as demonstrated during the talks in Santo Domingo where the Venezuelan Government and the opposition failed to reach an agreement; whereas international democratic bodies, including the European Union, declined the invitation to observe such an illegitimate electoral process;

D.  whereas on 13 November 2017 the Council of the European Union decided to adopt an arms embargo against Venezuela and a ban on related material that might be used for internal repression; whereas on 22 January 2018 the Council of the European Union decided, by unanimity, to impose sanctions against seven Venezuelan individuals holding official positions in the form of restrictive measures such as travel bans and asset freezes, in response to non-compliance with democratic principles;

E.  whereas the recent developments in Venezuela are causing further polarisation and deterioration of the situation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law; whereas Venezuela is facing an unprecedented political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis, resulting in many deaths;

1.  Strongly rejects the decision by the internationally non-recognised National Constituent Assembly endorsed by the National Electoral Council to hold the early presidential elections, currently scheduled for 20 May 2018; calls for their immediate suspension until the necessary conditions for credible, transparent and inclusive elections are met;

2.  Insists that only elections based on a viable electoral calendar, agreed in the context of the national dialogue with all relevant actors and political parties, and respecting equal, fair and transparent conditions of participation – including the lifting of bans on political opponents, the freeing of political prisoners, the balanced composition of an impartial National Electoral Council and the existence of sufficient guarantees, including monitoring by independent international observers – will be recognised by the EU;

3.  Calls for elections fulfilling all international standards, fully in line with OAS criteria, to be called immediately; stresses that the legitimate government resulting from such elections must urgently address the current economic and social crisis in Venezuela and work towards the national reconciliation of the country;

4.  Calls on both the government and opposition to adopt without further delay a macroeconomic stabilisation plan together with the international financial institutions to address the numerous challenges the country is faced with, such as the humanitarian crisis caused by hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods and medicines; reiterates its call on the Venezuelan Government to allow humanitarian aid into the country;

5.  Recalls that under the current circumstances, the European Parliament cannot recognise the elections resulting from this illegitimate process; in this regard calls on the European Union, OAS and ‘El Grupo de Lima’ to act with united and coordinated voice;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

(1) OJ C 285, 29.8.2017, p. 145.
(2) OJ C 294, 12.8.2016, p. 21.
(3) OJ C 316, 30.8.2016, p. 190.
(4) OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 101.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0200.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0041.

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