Venezuela's opposition hails election gains

Rocky

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From the BBC:

Venezuela's opposition is celebrating the results of Sunday's poll, in which it overturned President Hugo Chavez's two-thirds majority in parliament.

A spokesman for the opposition umbrella group, the Table for Democratic Unity (MUD), said he was "very happy".

Near-complete results show the MUD won 65, with Mr Chavez's United Socialist Party(PSUV) gaining 98.
Chavez is claiming the PSUV got 5,422,040 votes and the MUD had won 5,320.175. The MUD are claiming they won 52% of the vote. The National Electoral Council still hasn't given a breakdown of the results, which has to be a bit odd. Either way it was clearly very close and the opposition definitely would have won a lot more seats had Chavez not gerrymandered the constituencies.

It also now deprives Chavez of a two-thirds majority and with that weakens his ability to bring in more laws that weaken Venezuela's democracy.

Finally I have to say that I really admire the commitment, drive and will of many Venezuelans to stand up against tyranny. Many others would have given up by now, but they clearly haven't, even if the whole system is rigged against them.
 


Sync

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Talked to a friend of mine over there last night, apparently the new apointees only take up their seats in 2011, so they're expecting Chavez to pass every lunatic piece of legislation he can write down in the next 2 months.
 

Rocky

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I forgot to mention in my original post that according to Chavez 520,000 votes were also won by another party that broke away from his own and so that clearly means that his party didn't win a majoirty of votes. That party seems to have only won two seats.

From BBC again:
Mr Chavez said that the PSUV had secured 5,422,040 votes and the MUD had won 5,320.175. And he dismissed another 520,000 votes won by a party which broke from the PSUV.
 

Oldira1

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Imagine getting a half million more votes than your opponent and still losing the election??? Yet this country claims to be a democracy and that Venezula is not. Hmmmmmmmmmm
 

Thac0man

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Talked to a friend of mine over there last night, apparently the new apointees only take up their seats in 2011, so they're expecting Chavez to pass every lunatic piece of legislation he can write down in the next 2 months.
And lets not forget that much of that legislation will be aimed at removing power from the parliment in one form or another. Chavez asset stripped the powers of regional governors when some major city and provincial elections did not go his way. I have heard that he is already preparing the ground to put certain state sectors and responsibilities under a form of 'collective control', basically appointing committees of loyalists to run state organs for the benefit of the President and his Boligharch entourage.

Already the gain the opposition have now made, including a reported 52% of the popular vote, are stimyied by Chavez introduction of weighted voting to favour his support base. About half the vote still secures well over half parliment, votes cast in Chavez strongholds. The system will keep getting weighted in favour of Chavez until only one vote will ever be counted that matters - and that will be Chavez's own one.

The failure of the nominally governing party to secure more than even 50% of the vote proves they no longer head a 'popular' revolution. Chavez called for a landside victory, but the only landslide that saved his revolution was the slew of legal boulders he threw in the oppostions way.

The figure the oppostion got was astounding, despite the gerry mandering of weighted voting. It was garnered in a country where criticism of the government is illegal and the government itself controls most media or has bullied it into self censorship. In that environment the oppostion still got about half the popular vote. We will see now if Chavez will try to extend his ban of criticism of himself and his party to parlimentry privilage.

I have no doubt Chavez has many dedicated and loyal followers. But what is important to note is that in making the party movement indivisible from the presidency and the constitution, all defined as the revolution - the popular vote in Venezuela is not something they can claim to have anymore. The 'revolution' is now top down, not 'grass roots'. So even with weighted voting denying democratic expression, that point has been made clear.

It is also worthy of note that in not yet instigating a unified single party, Chavez has left the door open to his own allies various partys to cross the parliment floor on certain votes to protect their independance, before Chavez introduces his unified party concept now.
 


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