Venezuela kicked off campaigning for governors of its 23 states which will continue until Oct. 12, according to the National Electoral Board.
Vice President Tareck El Aissami said Saturday he believed the regional elections, slated for Oct. 15, will consolidate peace and were only part of the revolution within the revolution.
He added that candidates should take this opportunity to make a difference, to "change everything we have to change, improve everything we have to improve, correct what we have to correct."
Together with candidate Carlos Mata Figueroa, El Aissami emphasized President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts towards peace despite opposition violence as well as his success with convening the National Constituent Assembly.
During an interview with the state television channel VTV, El Aissami stated that despite U.S. sanctions against the Bolivarian nation, Venezuela is embarking on a path towards economic peace and prosperity according to the Bolivarian Economic Agenda.
Campaigning was underway in the states of Anzoategui, Aragua, Carabobo, Miranda, Lara, Tachira and Zulia, with the ruling Socialist Party of Venezuela ready to take on opposition candidates.
In Miranda state, people's power leader Hector Rodriguez will face off with opposition candidate Carlos Ocariz, since current governor, Henrique Capriles, has been banned from public office due to "administrative irregularities" while in his post.
In Zulia, incumbent Francisco Arias will be challenged by opposition member Juan Carlos Guanipa and in Lara state, former Minister of Interior and Justice under Maduro, Carmen Melendez will seek to wrest the governorship from incumbent Henri Falcon.
After months of violent protests, the opposition decided to participate in the regional elections, which will be — like all other elections since late President Hugo Chavez took office in 1998 — legitimate democratic expressions of the will of the Venezuelan people.