Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sunday's results 

I knew if I held out long enough someone else would come up with the results. And sure enough they did – at least in part.

So here is what we know. Chavez’s political party – the MVR – won big getting 58% of the council seats (1,383 out 2,389). That is certainly a significant victory. But better still their allied parties of the Bloque de Cambio (Patria Para Todos, Communist Party of Venezuela, and Podemos) picked up another 19% to bring the total number of seats won by pro-Chavez candidates to 77%.

According to officials the MVR had won the following number of seats by state: 17 seats in Amazonas (44% of the eligible seats); 92 in Anzoátegui (62%); 47 in Apure (89%); 68 in Aragua (48%); 73 in Barinas (83%) ; 49 in Bolívar (56%) ; 68 in Carabobo (58%) ; 38 in Cojedes (68%); 3 in Delta Amacuro (12%); 13 in the Capital District (100%); 128 in Falcón (83%); 39 in Guárico (36%); 53 in Lara (71%); 114 in Mérida (78% ) ; 111 in Miranda (66%); 52 in Monagas (58%); 24 in Nueva Esparta (31%); 68 in Portuguesa (67%); 41 in Sucre (38%); 106 in Táchira (56%); 110 in Trujillo (81%); 47 in Yaracuy (48%); 11 in Vargas (100%) and 11 in Zulia (7%).

The state by state results don’t really give much in the way of surprises. The areas where Chavez has traditionally been strong turned out for him again – Merida, Lara, Vargas, Barinas, Falcon, and the Caracas area. The two states that the MVR lost in the elections of last October were problematic again with the MVR only getting 31% in Nueva Exparta and an abysmal 7% in Zulia. It is said that the Zulia situation results from internal differences within the MVR in that state that have yet to be resolved plus it has a popular opposition governor Manuel Rosales.

And speaking of governors, in the highest office up for grabs on Sunday Liborio Guarulla of the Chavez's MVR party was re-elected governor of the small state of Amazonas with 16,216 votes versus 14,876 for his Adeco opponent Bernabe Gutierrez.

So all in all Sunday was a good day for Chavismo. It would have been nice to see more people come out and vote but electoral fatigue took its toll. It would have been better if these elections had been combined with the mayoral and gubanatorial elections of last October. But these are now history and the way is clear to the very important legislative elections in December. Right now the National Assembly is almost evenly divided between pro-Chavez and opposition forces. But the MVR today announced its goal is to win 135 seats in the 165 seat body. To meet that goal the Chavez forces will have to put forth a much bigger effort than they did for these elections. But given what is at stake I expect they will.

UPDATE: For those interested in seeing these results compared to 2000 head on over to Panorama Newspaper and they have the state by state breakdown (although it is still partial). So far pro-Chavez candidates have picked up 650 new seats and look poised to get 1,000 when the full analysis is done!


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