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Venezuela’s Chavistas Gain Strength; Opposition Split After Elections

LADB Article ID: 79184
Category/Department: Venezuela
Date: 2014-01-10
By: Andrés Gaudín

Following municipal elections Dec. 8 in which Venezuela’s governing party confirmed its political primacy, the right-wing opposition is reconsidering a strategy that set Henrique Capriles up as the leader of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD). During the past five years, the opposition had focused its efforts on Capriles, a task that was not always easy. Voter turnout in the municipal elections reached a record of nearly 60%, with the governing Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) winning 79% of the mayoral races in 337 municipalities. The ruling party had nearly 5.2 million votes while the opposition’s total came in a little under 4.1 million. Although not directly comparable, the gap between December municipal elections and the April presidential contest increased by nearly 1.1 million votes.

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