The ruling Chavismo won the mayoralty of Caracas and 20 of the 23 governorships last Sunday in the regional elections in Venezuela, in a process in which the opposition participated again after years of boycotts and calls for abstention.
The president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Pedro Calzadilla, also set participation at 41.8% in the first official report, with 8.1 million voters out of 21 million who were called to go to the polls.
The Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) took the mayoralty of the capital of this country of 30 million inhabitants, Caracas, and the governorates of Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Delta Amacuro, Falcón, Guárico , Lara, La Guaira, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo and Yaracuy.
Weakened and fragmented in the return of its main political parties to the polls, the opposition was only able to win in three states, including Zulia, the most populous in the country.
In contrast, he suffered a severe defeat in a key region that he controlled: Táchira, on the border with Colombia.
The major opposition parties were marginalized from the presidential elections of 2018, in which the socialist ruler Nicolás Maduro was reelected, and the legislative parties of 2020, in which the ruling party regained control of Parliament; denouncing both elections as “fraudulent”.
“The revolutionary forces have won 21 (states), including the country’s capital (…). Good triumph, good victory, good harvest as a result of work, persevering work, ”Maduro celebrated.
The first bulletin was made public with 90.21% of the votes transmitted, Calzadilla said.
The vote brought the return of international observers: the European Union, which had not worked in an election in Venezuela for 15 years, took part with a mission of 130 delegates and there was also the presence of experts from the United Nations and the Carter Center.
The Venezuelan authorities, in previous electoral events, opted for “accompaniment missions” of countries and organizations close to Chavismo.
“Abstention and division”
The regional elections were presented as a new starting point for both Maduro, who is seeking the lifting of international sanctions, and for the opposition, which returned to the electoral track with its sights set on a “transparent” presidential election in 2024, although the next year he has the option of a referendum to revoke the president’s mandate.
“The results of the CNE bring few surprises (…). The map is fundamentally red (the color of the PSUV ruler), as expected, ”wrote analyst Luis Vicente León, director of the Datanálisis polling company, on Twitter.
“This result is regrettable for the opposition, since it was defined fundamentally due to abstention and division,” said León, referring to the difficulties of Maduro’s rivals to agree on unified candidacies.
That fragmentation made things easier for Chavismo in traditionally oppositional areas like Táchira.
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The United States denounced yesterday Monday that the Government of the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has “once again” deprived Venezuelans of participating in a “fair and free” electoral process.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that during Sunday’s local elections “the regime altered the process to determine the outcome of these elections long before the ballots were cast.”
In that sense, the head of US diplomacy cited, among others, arbitrary arrests.