President Bans Opponent From Holding Office In Communist Country

( – Maria Corina Machado, a former Venezuelan lawmaker and presidential candidate was recently banned from holding public office for 15 years by the current government, led by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Machado is currently leading the 13-candidate party primary which, if nominated, would put her in a head-to-head match-up with Maduro in the 2024 election. However, the recent ban will most likely prohibit her from registering with Venezuelan election authorities, despite her favorable primary odds.

Machado also has a history of being banned from public office. In 2015, she was banned from holding public office for 12 months due to her allegedly not declaring certain benefits she received in her assets declaration. Machado claims she never received the benefits in the first place. Machado has also been barred from leaving Venezuela for the past nine years.

The government has also claimed that Machado is linked to “corruption plots” under former interim President Juan Guaidó. She is also accused by the government of being complicit in the economic blockade of Venezuela.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, said on Twitter that no government should take away the “political rights” of any citizen.

Current polling shows Machado’s popularity on the uptrend as she continues to lead 14 primary candidates vying for the opposition nomination to challenge Maduro in the impending election. 46.4% of would-be voters intend to vote for Machado, according to the poll.

ORC Consultores head Oswaldo Ramirez Colina said that the recent ban on Machado’s eligibility for public office could very well be an attempt by Maduro’s government to curb the influx of popular support she is receiving.

In her presidential platform, Machado proposes to privatize the Venezuelan state-controlled oil company PDVSA, as well as to restructure the country’s national debt. On June 29, she told supporters that her ban from holding public office “means zero,” and that such a measure is proof that Maduro’s regime is losing.

Those opposing Maduro have long since accused him of using bans from holding public office as a way of maintaining control and suppressing opposition.

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