Primero Justicia after an all day meeting has opted out of the Sunday election. The reason? They cannot defend the Venezuelan vote in the face of the CNE treachery. (updated link here)
However there is a twist: they keep up three candidates, the three political victims of chavismo, Simonovis, Forero and Pacheco. That is, for me, rather brilliant as it will demonstrate clearly the value of asbtention if they manage to coordinate a serious monitoring effort around these three names and manage to have them win their elections. Chavismo is basically obliged to either cheat to ensure such victory does not happen, or postpone the election and change the utterly discredited CNE board.
PS: Petkoff has a very interesting analysis out. He still thinks that abstention is a mistake but he has modulated his discourse, just as PJ did. That is, the groundswell of popular outrage and the openly reactionary attitude of the government are changing the deal so fast that no one can really take a reasoned stand.
PS2: There is only one important opposition player left, Rosales in Zulia. I would not be surprised to see him remain in the race anyway as a guarantee to be able to demonstrate that the opposition could have done well. A little bit like for the three political vicitims.
But I think it would be best at this point to see Rosales withdraw. Things have changed in such a way that even Rosales might not be able to counter a surprising and unexpected abstention in Zulia which could give chavismo more seats than expected. He would thus damage further a possible opposition front, and lose big himself instead of beeing the king maker of the opposition presidential bid of 2006. I personally think that we are in a alea jacta est situation. Rosales should call in his chips. We are not any more in a Lone Ranger situation.