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Venezuela’s Elections: How to Fake a Fraud

Daniel Hellinger is professor of political science at Webster University and serves on the board of the Washington DC based Center for Democracy in the Americas.

Sunday, Venezuelans go to the polls. President Chavez will likely win again, probably with a margin between 55 and 60 percent. Facing little prospect of victory, the opposition and Washington are preparing instead to discredit the results.

An abstentionist sector is already convinced the election will be fraudulent. The main opposition candidate, Manuel Rosales, may take a nuanced position. He will probably complain about irregularities but try to preserve his credibility with voters, and his future political prospects, by keeping a distance from the most intransigent sectors of the opposition. He will leave it to the abstentionists and the private media to convince the international community that a fraud was perpetrated.

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