The Venezuelan Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of blocking 272 mostly opposition candidates from running for office on the basis of suspicion of corruption. The court rejected arguments that the blacklist was unconstitutional because many of the listed candidates had merely been accused, but not convicted, of corruption:

[T]he court concludes that the restriction of human rights is acceptable in accordance with the laws that are given for reasons of general interest, for the safety of other members of society and for the common good . . . .

The list of blacklisted candidates was created by President Hugo Chavez’s Comptroller General, Clodosbaldo Russian, in February 2008. Although ostensibly created to bar candidates accused of involvement in corruption, the majority of the candidates listed are aligned with political parties that oppose President Chavez, including Leopoldo Lopez, the mayor of a Caracas municipality. Lopez’s lawyer, Enrique Sanchez Falcon, has reportedly filed two other suits challenging the constitutionality of the list and intends to continue the battle to permit Lopez to run for reelection.

If upheld, the disqualification of the 272 listed candidates from state and municipal elections will likely further consolidate President Chavez’s power over the political and economic mechanisms in Venezuela, including regulation of the (re)insurance market. Any further change in (re)insurance regulation under President Chavez is unlikely to be favorable to the nearly 100 foreign companies carrying on insurance and reinsurance business in Venezuela either directly or through local affiliates.

For a copy of the October 2007 (re)insurance regulations governing the transfer of currency to foreign insurers and reinsurers, please click here. For a copy of the January 2006 (re)insurance regulations establishing minimum qualifications for insurers and reinsurers concerning experience, solvency and honorableness, please click here.

If you would be interested in learning more about the Venezuelan or other Latin American (re)insurance markets and/or regulatory environments, please click the “Email the Editor” button and provide your contact information for follow-up by an EAPD attorney.