In March of this year the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) began hearings to investigate the political disqualification of many opposition leaders looking to participate in Venezuelan elections. Among those testifying was Leopoldo Lopez, one of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders who was recently banned due to corruption charges. In a court hearing, Lopez spoke out against political disqualification stating that bans threaten the future of democracy in the Venezuela.
The IACHR responded accordingly. In early September the court ruled to put an end to all political disqualifications. Lopez, in a press conference following the ruling stated, “This is a ruling with a hemispheric impact, with an influence in similar cases in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica (…) But above all, this a strong binding decision for the Venezuelan State under the agreements signed and endorsed in our Constitution pursuant to Articles 23 and 31 (…) This is a decision that democrats will respect and comply with determination and courage, in order to preserve the rights millions of Venezuelans have to choose freely.”
The Venezuela electoral authority (CNE) recently settled on the date for elections, October 7th 2012 (2 month earlier than normal) leaving opposition leaders less time to campaign.