Monday, September 27, 2010

Venezuelans hand President Chavez huge electoral win ... again

From the Venezuelan embassy:

President Hugo Chávez’s party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV in Spanish), won the majority of the seats in Venezuela’s National Assembly during Sunday’s legislative elections, claiming 94 of the 165 available seats.

A multitude of different opposition parties grouped in a coalition won 60 seats. The National Electoral Council (CNE) released the results as soon as the trends of the votes counted were irreversible. The outcomes of a few races are still being determined.

The CNE also confirmed a record turnout of 66.45 percent, the highest in the history of legislative elections in the country. By comparison, less than 40 percent of U.S. voters participated in the 2006 mid-term elections.

As the international press highlighted, the electoral process developed peacefully and in normalcy.

According to analysts, the PSUV emerged tremendously strengthened from this election. President Chavez’s party not only won the single biggest proportion of seats in Sunday’s election, but also more seats than his former party (MVR) did in the 2000 legislative election. The PSUV also took the majority of seats in 18 of Venezuela’s 24 states.

More importantly, though, was the level of participation – over 66 percent of Venezuela’s 17.7 million voters cast ballots in the election— and what this reflects in terms of the effectiveness, transparency and consolidation of the country’s electoral system.

Additionally, opposition political parties participated in the elections, choosing not to repeat the tactical mistake they made in 2005 when – against the advice of the Organization of American States and Carter Center – they chose to abstain from participating in that year’s legislative contest.

Sunday’s election was the fifteenth time since 1998 that the Venezuelan people have gone to the polls to cast their ballots. Over 6,400 candidates engaged in vibrant debate for the 165 available seats, and thousands of national and international observers were on hand to witness the electoral process.

For information on Venezuela’s legislative elections, please read our Fact Sheet (

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