Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

Print Print Email Email Share Share Cite Cite
Style: MLA APA Chicago Close

loading...

Venezuela's regional elections

by Shannon K. O'Neil
November 25, 2008

Sunday’s regional elections in Venezuela saw a record turnout of 65% of eligible voters. This is high both by Venezuela’s standards (45% of voters came out for the 2004 regional elections) and by global standards (about 62% of voters came out during the U.S. presidential election this year). In the short-term, President Hugo Chavez and the opposition ended in a draw, as the opposition gained control over the mayorship of Caracas and 4 states (including the 2 most populous), but the PSUV (Chavez’s party) maintained control of 17 states. In the long-term, though, this is an important victory for the opposition. Even though they won only 5 of the 22 territories, they will govern nearly half of Venezuela’s population. This grants the opposition a better platform to share their concerns with the general population and to build a political base for future elections. It also means Chavez will also have to tolerate – and even cooperate with – opposition regional governments in order to keep the trappings of democracy. For a few more thoughts on the subject, I talked to PBS’s World Focus last night:

Post a Comment

CFR seeks to foster civil and informed discussion of foreign policy issues. Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are solely those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions. All comments must abide by CFR's guidelines and will be moderated prior to posting.

* Required