The defeat of Venezuela’s power to Parliamentary elections took rout paces. Sunday, December 6, after an election day marked by a very high participation (74.25%), the opposition won 99 of the 167 seats in the unicameral National Assembly. The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), training of former President Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) and his successor Nicolas Maduro kept only 46. Twenty-two seats are still in dispute, whereas 96 % of the votes were counted. According to the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, the final results should be announced in the coming hours or the coming days.
However, the results already confirmed by the CNE exceeded calculations and hopes of the most optimistic opponents. “We made history” , proclaimed Freddy Guevara, spokesman for the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).
Immediately after the official proclamation of the score, late at night, President Maduro appeared on television to recognize the victory of his opponents and called on his countrymen to accept “rules of the game and democracy in peace and quiet” . He reiterated his accusations against the opposition deemed guilty of the economic catastrophe of the moment. “Give out your victory” , he launched his opponents a calm tone and sad. He added: “The cons-revolution triumphed. “ He called Chavista voters not to give up: ” We have lost a battle, but the struggle and revolution continue. “
” Chavista Click “
For his part, the secretary general of the MUD, Jesus” Chuo “Torrealba, assured that the opposition would assume his victory with “humility, firmness and tranquility” . “The new majority will not overwrite the old” , he said, calling from his vows the union of all Venezuelans. He referred to the social gains to signal they would not be questioned. “You also have won,” t has-he launched the Chavista voters, promising that the MUD would work for economic reconstruction of the country for the well-being of all. “Those who voted for us and those who did not suffer in the same way” , he concluded. In speeches, it is time for national reconciliation. On social networks, the desire for revenge is strong against “clique Chavista” .
The question of an amnesty law in order to obtain the release of political prisoners arrives led initiatives promised by the MUD. Jailed in February 2014, following a demonstration that resulted in the deaths of three people, Leopoldo Lopez, one of the main opponents, was sentenced to fourteen years in prison Nov. 16. His wife, Lilian Tintori, has become, too, one of the figures of the Venezuelan opposition.
The election night was long. To counter the media encirclement, the MUD had activated a streaming presentation of his campaign headquarters. From 18 hours, the faces were radiating it. At 21 hours, the opposition proclaimed its victory even before the official results are announced. “The results are what we expected. Venezuela has won. This is irreversible “ tweeted former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Officials and Ministers had, themselves, disappeared from the shelves of public television and the CNE. At 21:25, General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Defense Minister, gave an overview of the day, remarkably quiet throughout the country, and saluted the citizenship of the 19 million voters to the polls. A voter worries on Twitter: “The one who speaks is a general, should be seen as a sign? “. The delay in the announcement of results has fueled the spiral of fear, many opponents already crying fraud on social networks.
End of a cycle
In Caracas no one doubts that the deep crisis in Venezuela is at the origin of punishment vote against the PSUV. In a country more dependent than ever on oil, recurring shortages of basic products, long queues in front of stores, unbridled inflation and rising insecurity, were right of “Bolivarian revolution” . “Without Chavez [death in 2013] , and with oil at $ 32 [29 euros] , we were probably condemned sighs Francisco Rodriguez, activist PSUV listening to the results. , but I never thought that we would take us such a slap. “
It is too early to measure the impact of the defeat in the ranks of the PSUV. Economists attribute the responsibility for the crisis to the model set up by Hugo Chavez himself. But the charismatic leader, deified by his followers, is now untouchable figure. This is Nicolas Maduro that Chavez voters passed the bill.
The victory of the Venezuelan opposition follows for election to the presidency of Argentina’s Mauricio Macri (center right), November 22. And rapprochement between Cuba and the United States. That’s how it seems to mark the end of a cycle, inaugurated by the coming to power of Hugo Chavez in 1999 and the left turn in Latin America.
The final result is important. The Venezuelan Constitution distinguishes three majorities indeed: simple (84 deputies) gained the opposition, the three-fifths (101 deputies) and the two-thirds (112 deputies), which would allow opposition members to engage a recall referendum against Nicolas Maduro, from April 2016, or constitutional reform. The new National Assembly takes office Jan. 5.
In a deeply divided country for sixteen years between Chavistas and anti-Chavistas, some feared violence overflows. “Venezuela will give the world a lesson in citizenship” , predicted Sunday morning Tibisay Lucena. And Venezuelans have probably given, but in a way that caught short of power. The lack of results are challenged, at least so far, is a positive development. It remains to be seen whether the executive and the legislature began a new negotiated or muscular cohabitation.