After the primary

As public attention has shifted again to Chávez’s health, the succesful opposition primary still has some unresolved issues.

Results in the two most important municipalities in Caracas (Libertador & Sucre) gave narrow victories for Ismael Garcia and Juan Carlos Caldera, both endorsed by Henrique Capriles Radonski. Both margins of victory were below 1 %.

Both runner-ups, Antonio Ecarri in Libertador and William Ojeda in Sucre, appealed to the MUD Electoral Comission. While Ecarri showed some discretion, Ojeda went public with his dissatisfaction.

Then, news broke of the sad passing of José Manuel Hernández, winner of the primary in El Hatillo municipality by a comfortable margin.

MUD rules stipulate that if a winning candidate cannot run, then a consenssus of at least 70% of all political forces in the area (according to their numbers in the previous election) can choose a replacement. Otherwise, a new primary election has to be held. The decision taken was the latter.

Finally, the Primary comission ruled that the results in Libertador and Sucre stand, dismissing the complaints. Ecarri has accepted his defeat, but Ojeda refused to recognize the results. Only in 3 municipalities  of the 275 where voting took place the results were challenged (Guaicaipuro in Miranda must do a partial re-vote)  There are no reports of irregularities in the 18 elections for state governors.

So, while unity for the upcoming regional elections is still incomplete, February 12th saw a giant leap towards it.

17 thoughts on “After the primary

  1. Only three cases of discord, two of them solved, for almost 300 positions being contested? I would agree that 99% is not 100%, but the last paragraph makes it sound as if we were headed to the months-long negotiation process prior to the 2010 parliamentary elections.

    I must add that while Ojeda has not conceded defeat, UNT has left him on his own on this matter. Nonetheless, Ojeda is still a diputado for the Unidad, and an important one at that (he holds the attendance record, among diputados-candidatos).

    Moreover, even though the media focus has been on the President’s ailment and treatment -as it naturally would be- the campaign is still going strong, and Mr. Capriles has shown a steady hand all week long; the Unidad’s candidate campaign’s board is also set.


    • If the last sentence sounded negative, that was not what I meant. Quite the opposite.
      The fact that such a complex and historic event like the primary went on without any major problems before, during and after the vote, even in those cases where it was too close to call at first is such a great success. Still, there’s a long way to go and the campaign, not just presidential, but also the one for governors and majors that will put this remarkable unity to the test. I’m a strong believer that the test will be passed.


  2. Completely different topic (sorry), but Wikileaks just dropped the Stratfor emails. If you recall Stratfor broke the Chavez cancer story, things are about to get really really interesting.


    • Here is the link for the Chavez story posted so far:
      Some pretty wild claims, like the Obama administration reaching out to Maduro. I have a hard time taking this stuff seriously whenever I read something like “”[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez””.


  3. Ok, the MUD is working as intended. A hitch here and there, they are solving them in a transparent, civil manner.

    More importantly, when is the Presidential campaign to be stepped up to full swing?

    “We are sorry about Hugo Chavez being ill and out of the picture for the moment… we wish him full recovery while he’s at it. It’s up to him, his medical counsel and his party to decide whether he can campaign, or when. Our behavior however, should not be in any way determined by his health problems, of which Venezuelans still have not been duly informed. We are moving forward just the same, our energetic and young, just elected candidate will begin touring the nation shortly, we are training the activists and recruiting witnesses, we are getting out the vote, etc. We are sure Hugo Chavez knows what’s best for his own health, and a country cannot be tied down by his health concerns, if the PSUV is tied down thus the have themselves to blame.”


    • A key date is March 7th. CNE must officially call the election in Gaceta on or before March 7th, or else they’ll miss a series of critical deadlines and be forced to delay the vote. Watch that date.


        • Dile al comandante que nos comunique cuando pueda qué día prefiere él que coloquemos las votaciones. Y que lo esperamos. Viviremos y venceremos!


            • Indeed. And thanks for the correction, she would sign that as “Tibi”
              I think our side should have a messenger that can stand to all attacks and inhabilitaciones but very publicly says what the rojo-rojito CNE may or may not try to do.
              That way Chavismo will have to react after us, not lead the way.


            • I think that postponing the elections would not be such a bad idea. This limits the time between the election and the Capriles inauguration in 2013. It would for sure avoid potential clashes between October and January.


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