Capriles is still governor of Miranda, but Venezuelans voted heavily for Chávez allies in regional elections
Allies of Venezuela President Hugo Chávez won almost all 23 governors’ races in elections on Sunday.
Venezuela’s ruling party had vowed to sweep the nation’s key governors’ race as a tribute to their stricken leader President Hugo Chávez who is convalescing in a Cuban hospital.
On Sunday, it made good on that promise, winning 20 of 23 states and punching into opposition strongholds, according to preliminary results.
“Chavismo, the force of the nation, won a crushing majority,” said Jorge Rodriguez, the head of the national campaign for the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela. “This is a victory for all of Venezuela but particularly a victory for Chávez.”
Outside of that [Capriles’s] one high profile race, the election was a disaster for the opposition. The PSUV won 20 of 23 governor races. The national opposition seems disheartened by its recent presidential election loss. Certain opposition leaders linked to old party structures failed to deliver. One key loser was Governor Pablo Perez in Zulia. The person who came in second place in the opposition presidential primary in February failed to deliver big for Capriles in the presidential election in October then lost his own reelection by a substantial margin in what should have been an opposition leaning state. His political career should be over at this point.
As of yesterday evening, “We still don’t know the official abstention number (40%+) and the total number of votes for each side.”
t was bad for the opposition to only win three Governorships. But Chavismo can’t feel good about the abstention level. From the numbers available, abstention was more than 40%. Much more than in 2008. The fact this happens so soon after the most successful election in terms of abstention for Chavismo and in the midst of Chavez’ recurrence, raises a lot of questions.
Caracas Chronicles looks at it on a state-by-state basis.
Hugo Chávez, as you may remember, is still in Cuba recuperating from his latest cancer surgery (his fourth).
As of the writing of this post, I could not find any public comments he might had made following his party’s overwhelming victory.
Dr. Jose Rafael Marquina, tweeting on Chavez’s condition, speculates that it’s “terminal cancer, life expectancy not beyond April,”
El cáncer es terminal y la expectativa de vida no es más allá de abril
— Jose Rafael Marquina (@marquina04) December 17, 2012
Chavez’s swearing-in for a new term is still scheduled for January 10. If he’s unable to serve, National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, would take over temporarily until elections are held.
Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog.