The Hague, September 22, 2017 – The GPM stands in solidarity with mayor David Smolansky, of El Hatillo (Caracas), who sought political asylum in Brazil on September 14, 2017.
Mayor Smolansky is a widely respected member of the opposition party, Mesa de Unidade Democrática (MUD). On 9 August 2017, Venezuela´s Supreme Tribunal for Justice (TSJ) sentenced mayor Smolansky to 15 months in prison for promoting marches against President Maduro. He was immediately stripped of his powers and spent 35 days in hiding since the sentencing.
Mayor Smolansky is the twelfth opposition mayor to be sentenced to jail-time during the administration of President Nicolás Maduro. The mayor´s recent sentence has been widely condemned, including by former presidents and leading rights activists across Latin America.
Mayor Smolansky is highly talented and effective city leader. In 2013, he was elected with 44% of the vote in 2013. He is Venezuela´s youngest ever elected mayor, and represents a new generation of leaders committed to transparent governance. He was named the World´s Outstanding Young Politician in 2015.
The GPM regrets the severe sentence issued by Venezuela´s TSJ and endorses mayor Smolansky´s call for legitimate and peaceful protest and the free expression of human rights.
The GPM condemns the political persecution of mayors and suppression of civil rights in all parts of the world.
The Global Parliament of Mayors welcomes Mayor Smolansky at the GPM Annual Convening 2017. The theme of the Annual Convening is ‘A Governance Revolution Empowering Cities’ and will take place on September 24-26 in Stavanger (Norway).