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Unity Problems Hamper Venezuelan Opposition Ahead of Legislative Elections

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 79749
Category/Department: Venezuela
Date: 2015-09-04
By: Andrés Gaudín

Eight months ago, at the start of the year, the Venezuelan opposition was confident it would win the upcoming Dec. 6 legislative elections and deliver the governing party its first defeat since coming to power 16 years ago. Now, with three months to go, and despite a host of problems facing President Nicolás Maduro and his Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV), many are second-guessing the opposition’s chances. National and international media outlets that have campaigned on behalf of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD) opposition alliance, together with leaders of parties that have broken with the 28-group coalition, are suggesting that the opposition, despite its lead in some polls, could end up losing again—not because of anything positive the government has done but because of its own mistakes. "There are people who haven’t understood that elections are won by coming up with a program and by leaving aside the petty personal ambitions that are destroying this instrument, which we built together for the benefit of the nation, not for any person in particular," Pedro Urrieta, executive secretary of the Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente (COPEI), said Aug. 5 upon announcing that his party, also known as the Partido Socialcristiano, was leaving MUD and would not run candidates in December.

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