Inteligencia y Seguridad Frente Externo En Profundidad Economia y Finanzas Transparencia
  En Parrilla Medio Ambiente Sociedad High Tech Contacto
Frente Externo  
17/09/2010 | Venezuela - Hugo Chávez looks to keep control of Venezuela's parliamentary seats

Jim Wyss

Venezuela's elections were in the spotlight as the Americas Conference focused on regional politics.


With critical parliamentary elections in Venezuela less than two weeks away, analysts say President Hugo Chávez's aggressive campaigning is breathing new life into his party -- and clouding the opposition's hopes of eking out a win.

Speaking at the Americas Conference in Coral Gables on Wednesday, Luis Vicente Leon of the Venezuelan polling firm Datanálisis said an August survey shows Chávez's Unified Socialist Party, or PSUV, with a narrow lead over opponents.

According to the poll, 27 percent of the electorate plan to vote for Chávez's allies, 24 percent would vote for opposition candidates and 30 percent remain undecided.

Once the undecided are sorted by party leaning, however, Chávez's allies might expect to win 52 percent of the vote versus the opposition's 48 percent, Leon said.

The PSUV's lead is within the margin of error, but it's clear that the Sept. 26 vote will be hard fought, despite earlier suggestions that the opposition might take the popular vote.

Despite the neck-and-neck race, recent changes to the way voting districts are measured mean that Chávez is likely to hold onto the two-thirds majority in parliament he needs to have his initiatives rubber-stamped, Leon said.

Still, ``it would be a great victory for the opposition -- even if Chávez maintained control of the parliament -- for them to win more votes,'' he said. ``In particular for the message that would send looking toward the 2012 presidential elections.''

The parliamentary race comes as the South American nation of 27 million faces serious problems, including the region's highest inflation, a shrinking economy and a crime wave that makes Caracas one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

Despite the government's failings, the opposition has failed to capitalize. It remains ``institutionally weak'' and has struggled to connect with poorer voters, Leon said.

The race is seen as a dry run for Chávez's 2012 presidential bid, and an opportunity for the opposition to claw back power after boycotting parliamentary elections in 2005.

In a research report, Daniel Kerner, an analyst with New York-based Eurasia Group, said the PSUV ``will fare better than most expect. . . . It is not easy to make a strong prediction of the election, but the wind seems to be blowing in Chávez's favor.''

``A narrow Chávez victory would be a blow to the opposition and give the government room to make marginal adjustments in economic policy as it prepares for the 2012 election,'' Kerner wrote. ``A narrow defeat would strengthen the opposition, but Chávez will still have room to advance in his effort to further consolidate power.''

The news comes as Latin America is in the midst of an active political season.

Also speaking at Wednesday's conference was Ricardo Alfonsín, of Argentina's Radical Civic Union, an opposition party vying in the October 2011 presidential race.

Alfonsín said the electorate is ready to shake off the ``generalized pessimism'' that pervades Argentina. Voters are demanding that their politicians engage in dialogue, provide legal stability that encourages investment, and steer away from party politics.

``Whoever can best interpret these changes is the one who will win,'' he said.

Mexico's presidential race isn't until 2012, but there, too, the speculation has begun.

The ruling National Action Party, PAN, has been battered by security woes and the sluggish economy. That has made many yearn for the strong-arm rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which held sway over Mexican politics for 70 years, said Diana Villiers Negroponte of the Brookings Institution.

Among the early contenders in that race is Enrique Peña Nieto, the governor of the state of Mexico and member of the PRI.

But in the volatile world of Mexican politics, being a front-runner this early on can be a liability.

``When you start identifying the candidate two years before the elections you set up a target,'' Negroponte said. ``Peña Nieto is up too early.''

Miami Herald (Estados Unidos)


Otras Notas Relacionadas... ( Records 1 to 10 of 4080 )
fecha titulo
09/01/2015 Is Venezuela Becoming the Most Dangerous Nation in Latin America?
20/12/2014 Obama golpea a Maduro tras las críticas por el deshielo con Cuba
09/12/2014 Venezuela - La despolarización desvanece a Maduro
25/11/2014 Venezuela’s Leftist Collectives: Criminals or Revolutionaries?
19/11/2014 Venezuela - Las lágrimas de Monedero sobre Hugo Chávez
21/10/2014 Venezuela, ¿Por qué Venezuela ha de importar petróleo pese a sus inmensas reservas de crudo?
14/10/2014 Venezuela violenta
06/10/2014 Venezuela - No mejora el enfermo
06/10/2014 Venezuela - El cerco continúa
05/10/2014 What Is Behind Murder of Venezuela Politician?

Otras Notas del Autor

ver + notas
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House