Presidential Elections in Venezuela : Towards 20 Years of Bolivarian Revolution ?

26-10-2012

President Hugo Chávez won his fourth presidential election, with 55.1% of the vote, almost 11% more than his main rival, Henrique Capriles, the candidate of a united opposition. Voter turnout was very high and voting took place in a calm atmosphere, with no irregularities reported. President Chávez was supported by a broad alliance led by his own United Socialist Party of Venezuela. He campaigned on a platform to reinforce social and economic change. Henrique Capriles was backed by an alliance integrating nearly all the opposition. Capriles campaigned on a platform advocating moderation and pragmatic solutions to solve Venezuela's problems. Both candidates recognised the result of the elections and stated their commitment to dialogue. However, it is doubtful whether this will lead to a more cooperative political climate. State elections will take place in mid-December, meaning that the government-opposition rivalry continues. Despite being cleared of cancer in July 2012, Chávez's health has led some to doubt whether he will conclude his new six-year term. The appointment of Nicolas Maduro as Vice President could be considered a possible succession strategy. The re-elected President Chávez and his government will need to address a number of challenges. Among the most important are the increase in crime rates and violence. Many analysts expect a devaluation of the currency, which could drive up the country's already high inflation rates. Yet, if oil prices remain high, the country should enjoy a substantial trade surplus and steady revenues, meaning that current economic policies are unlikely to change.

President Hugo Chávez won his fourth presidential election, with 55.1% of the vote, almost 11% more than his main rival, Henrique Capriles, the candidate of a united opposition. Voter turnout was very high and voting took place in a calm atmosphere, with no irregularities reported. President Chávez was supported by a broad alliance led by his own United Socialist Party of Venezuela. He campaigned on a platform to reinforce social and economic change. Henrique Capriles was backed by an alliance integrating nearly all the opposition. Capriles campaigned on a platform advocating moderation and pragmatic solutions to solve Venezuela's problems. Both candidates recognised the result of the elections and stated their commitment to dialogue. However, it is doubtful whether this will lead to a more cooperative political climate. State elections will take place in mid-December, meaning that the government-opposition rivalry continues. Despite being cleared of cancer in July 2012, Chávez's health has led some to doubt whether he will conclude his new six-year term. The appointment of Nicolas Maduro as Vice President could be considered a possible succession strategy. The re-elected President Chávez and his government will need to address a number of challenges. Among the most important are the increase in crime rates and violence. Many analysts expect a devaluation of the currency, which could drive up the country's already high inflation rates. Yet, if oil prices remain high, the country should enjoy a substantial trade surplus and steady revenues, meaning that current economic policies are unlikely to change.