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More on the Elections

Mr. Chavez's Rubber Stamp
Washington Post Editorial
Monday, December 12, 2005

VENEZUELA'S democratic system, which has been crumbling under pressure from President Hugo Chavez, has taken another lurch toward collapse. In elections for the National Assembly held Dec. 4, at least 75 percent of voters chose not to go to the polls, despite threats from government officials that state workers would lose their jobs if they did not. A fifth of those who did turn out cast blank ballots rather than support pro-government candidates; opposition parties withdrew from the election days before it occurred. The result is that Mr. Chavez's supporters, with a mandate from 20 percent of the electorate, will occupy all 167 seats in the assembly. The legislature, like the court system before it, will be converted from a check on Mr. Chavez's power to a rubber stamp. Its top priority, National Assembly President Nicolas Maduro said after the vote, would be "to legislate so that Chavez rules not until 2021, but until 2030."

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Chávez defends Venezuela election
By Christopher Toothtaker
The Associated Press
Saturday December 10, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Friday denounced reports by international observers who oversaw recent congressional elections, rejecting criticism of his government's use of media resources.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a miscalculation for the opposition when it did not (literally) live up to its position! Even if Chavez is bent on acquiring and consolidating power, he still does it within a semblance of a democratic structure i.e. elections. At least the Venezuelans are cognisant of their democratic power and displayed it through their choice to either cast blank ballots or refuse to go to the polls.

December 13, 2005 5:29 PM


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