Archive for December 16th, 2012

Some Thoughts On The Results Of Venezuela’s Regional Elections

December 16, 2012

We still don’t know the official abstention number (40%+) and the total number of votes for each side. The latter remains a very important number going forward.

Capriles’ number is ok, but not great, should make him the candidate against Maduro. If abstention is as high as has been said (clearly 40%-plus), Chavismo would like the Capriles-Maduro face off to be sooner, rather than later, as I have been predicting. Time works against Chavismo. Seems like Maduro would win an election that takes place soon.

Merida and Tachira are hard to understand. Chavez lost in both and now the PSUV candidates manage to score a win. Does this mean Vielma Mora is the most viable Chavista candidate for the ¨Chavismo sin Chavez¨ era? Jaua has never won an election, Arias lost one, Maduro has never run for anything but Head of the subway union and Diosdado lost to Capriles once. Vielam Mora, on the other hand, ran almsot on his own and won. Man to watch out!

Pablo Perez was terrible. He did not deliver on October 7th. , he did not deliver today. Maybe maracuchos should stop saying that the country does not accept maracuchos. Zulia seems to have problems with them! The Salas in Carabobo should learn that you can’t expect to stay so long in power. People do get tired.

To me, abstention is a puzzle. It is fine to argue that Chavez is the only one that get the vote out. But to have 30% of the electorate decide not to vote less than three months after Chavez’ victory in October is a complex mystery to me. Whatever happened to the sympathy vote? What turned the voters off in 75 days? We are talking about the fact that in this election, only about the same number of people that voted for Chavez in October went out to vote. Is this reasonable? I don’t think so, because Chavismo did not do much better than in October, so you can’t say the oppo vote was weak. A lot of Chavistas stayed home. Why?

Maybe Capriles should say Falcon will be his Vice-President. But again, let Chavistas deal with the economic adjustment. They created the distortions, let them deal with it. A maduro win, may not be so bad for the future after all.

Any ¨people¨ that elect Rodriguez Chacin as their Governor, deserve worse.And with Rangel Silva winning, we now have two people blacklisted by the US Government for their involvement in drug trafficking.

It 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.

Bolivar is still up for grabs. Did not expect that, given the abstention levels in such a Chavista State. Andres Velasquez will put up a fight. He deserves  a chance. The Bolivar union workers never had a better friend and activist than Velasquez, but they have never given him the power. Had Velasquez won in 1994, Venezuela’s history would have been much different and for the better.

Finally, the Head of the Electoral Board did a terrible job reading the results. She read the numbers wrong, did not give candidate totals and when she gave Bolivar’s results she said twice the were not irreversible, but then gave the wrong numbers. She tries to grab the attention and then screws up!

Now the guessing game begins. Another election in two months? three months? Four months?

My guess is think soon, rather than later. How does February 3nd. sound to you? The 10th. is Carnival…Just wondering…

Official Results at 9:00 PM In Venezuela Regional Elections

December 16, 2012

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First Official Results:

Zulia, opposition loses

Miranda a win for Capriles (+6%)

Lara a win for Falcon

Amazonas for the opposition

Barinas for PSUV

Monagas PSUV wins

Anzoategui Aristobulo 53% to 41%, opposition loses

Apure PSUV wins

Aragua PSUV 52% to 42.7%

Barnas PSUV 54 to 41% Adan Chavez

Carabobo Ameliach 53.49% to 42.7%

Cojedes PSUV 59% to 35% opposition

Delta Amacuro PSUV 71% PJ 20.99%

Falcon PSUV 48.28%, PJ 35.28%

Guarico PSUV 70.1% AD 25.5%

Lara Falcon 54% PSUV 41.98%

Merida PSUV 47.56% PJ 37.96%

Miranda Capriles 50.5% , PSUV 46.5%

Monagas PSUV wins

Portuguesa PSUV 50.2%

Sucre PSUV 55.77%, 35% opposition

Tachira PSUV wins

Trujillo 79.4% PSUV

Vargas PSUV 69%

Yaracuy PSUV 57.8%

Zulia Arias Cardenas 50.99%

Nueva Esparta PSUV wins.

Amazonas, Opposition wins 56%

Bolivar PSUV 45.41%, opposition 44.64%

Seems opoosition wins three states and incredibly loses Merida and Tachira where Chavez lost in October.

Venezuelan Regional Election Update at 8:30 PM

December 16, 2012

The best electoral system in the world, according to Jimmy (Who?) Carter, can’t call any of the 23 Gubernatorial elections at 8:30 PM tonight.

But the Devil hears:

Miranda (+6%), Lara and Amazonas in the bag for the opposition.

Zulia looks hard to win

Monagas, Merida look good

Bolivar tied at this time

Carabobo, Tachira and Nueva Esparta we are slightly ahead

Barinas looks like it can go our way (Hard to believe!) (I am told WE WON!)

So far, this is very positive for the opposition!!!

Let The Abuse Of Power Take Over In Venezuela’s Electoral Process

December 16, 2012

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(Thanks DA for the panoramic of your almost empty voting center)

As projections indicate that abstention will be between 45 and 50%, if voters flows continue at current rates, the abuse of power on the part of the Chavista Government has begun in earnest. First, Vice President and fingered successor Nicolas Maduro held a press conference, promoting the votes of Chavista voters and, of course, suggesting that all Chavez wants is for his supporters to go out and vote. The Electoral Board said nothing of this, except for Electoral Board member Vicente Diaz who during the press conference called for its suspension as it was in clear violation of the Electoral Laws. The broadcast of the press conference was interrupted as Vicente Diaz spoke on TV. Reportedly, Chavez’ son in law (And Minister of Science an Technology. Nepotism? Nahh!!! Revolution!!!) was ready to repeat a broadcast like the one yesterday, which was also in violation of the law, but was suspended.

At this time, the question is whether there will be an acceleration of Chavista voters as the polls close, like what happened in October, or if the general apathy will prevail. If apathy prevails, look for the opposition and Chavismo to win in their natural strongholds. There would likely be no surprises and Chavismo will be concerned about how Maduro would perform head to head against Capriles, if he were to win easily in Miranda. If Chavismo manages to drive out the vote in the last hour, the opposition could be reduce below six Governorships.

At this time nobody is placing any bets and the mood is cautious in both camps.

Abstention Seems To Be The Story So Far In Venezuela’s Gubernatorial Elections

December 16, 2012

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So I went this morning to take pictures of voting centers and the best I could come up with was a lousy picture of my ink-stained finger. Essentially, there are few lines for voting, I could not find a single center with a line outside to take a picture of. This election is different, a large fraction of Caracas simply does not vote, so I could not take my usual tour of the more pro-Chavez Western part of Caracas, they choose no Governor, and instead had to go East, to Petare, where the lines seemed to be for shopping, rather than for voting.

And the few data points I have from around the country suggests that it is the same all over. In two very pro-Chavista parishes in a Southeastern state of Venezuela, where Chavez won in October by 38% and abstention was 20.3% and 17.2% respectively, abstention at 10 AM was simply huge. In one center, which has about 270 voters, not one person had voted after the polls had been opened almost an hour.

Once again, in elections without Chavez, even Chavistas don’t seem to care much. He is definitely the electoral phenomenon.

What this means is that we are in uncharted territory. Low abstention, like in October, was good for Chavismo. Abstention between 25% and 35%, favors the opposition, but above that level, where we seem to be at this point of the day, is no mans land. More likely even a poor Chavista machinery will be enough to win in many states, but this is likely not be uniform across the country.  This may be good for the States where the opposition has Governors in danger of losing, like Carabobo and Nueva Esparta, but reduces the likelihood of a surprise by the opposition in States like Aragua and Anzoategui. Maybe we get an almost repeat of 2008.

I will update throughout the day, if there is something to upgrade about, I hope there is.

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