[OPE-L] Pro-Chavez parties won all 167 seats in the National Assembly

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Mon Dec 05 2005 - 13:27:47 EST

      Chavez's Party Wins 68% of Seats in Venezuela's Parliament

                  Sunday, Dec 04, 2005
            By: Gregory Wilpert - Venezuelanalysis.com

                       CNE President Jorge Rodriguez, as he addressed the
nation on TV.

            Caracas, Venezuela, December 4, 2005-Chavez's party, the
Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR), won 114 or 68% of the
167 seats in the new National Assembly, according to
preliminary results that MVR deputy William Lara announced
this evening. Pro-Chavez parties won all 167 seats in the new
National Assembly.

            The President of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE),
Jorge Rodriguez, said that with 79% of the voting center
results examined, voter turnout so far was at 25%. A total of
2.9 million votes had been counted so far, meaning that about
3.67 million Venezuelans cast ballots on Sunday.

            The preparations, voting, and dismantling of the voting
centers all proceeded normally, explained Rodriguez, with no
incidents to speak of.

            Many voting centers had to open late, though, because citizens
who were asked to staff the centers did not show up,
particularly in upper middle class neighborhoods, where the
opposition parties that called for a boycott, are especially

            While Rodriguez did not say what percentage of the vote
pro-Chavez parties and candidates got for the National
Assembly, he did specify that for the Latin American
parliament the six main pro-Chavez parties, MVR, Podemos, PCV,
PPT, MEP, and UPV, won 88.8% of the vote.

            That Chavez's MVR party alone won 114 seats in the National
Assembly, means that his party has slightly over the two
thirds majority needed to make constitutional amendments and
key appointments.

            Earlier in the day, as it became clear that voter turn-out was
lower than leaders of pro-government parties had predicted,
several opposition leaders said that the new National Assembly
would have no legitimacy. Maria Corina Machado, who is one of
the directors of the opposition NGO Sumate, said, "From a
pluri-party parliament we pass to a mono-party parliament that
does not represent the broad sectors of the population. Today
a National Assembly is born that is wounded in its

            MVR spokesperson William Lara contradicted this assessment,
saying, "There are deputies from social groups, independent
personalities. Today the Venezuelan people have elected a
pluri-party National Assembly."

            Jesse Chacon, the Minister of the Interior and of Justice,
also held a press conference, in which he argued that the last
time parliamentary elections were held separately from
presidential elections was in 1998. The party Acción
Democrática (AD) won that vote, with the support of merely
11.24% of the total population registered to vote. During the
2000 parliamentary elections, Chavez's MVR party received
support from 17% of registered voters.

            According to Chacon, any result in these elections where the
MVR obtains support from more than 11% of those registered to
vote would give the MVR greater legitimacy to control the
National Assembly than AD had in 1998 and anything greater
than 17% would give it greater legitimacy than the last
National Assembly had. In accordance with such a calculation,
the MVR coalition obtained the support of about 22% of all
registered voters during this election (about 3 million votes
out of 14 million registered voters).

            Education Minister Aristobulo Isturiz explained on TV talk
show that this type of calculation is the only calculation
that makes sense for establishing a reference point because
the several key opposition parties called for a boycott of
today's vote. In the course of the day, it was clear that
opposition strongholds had extremely low turnout, of perhaps
10% of voters, while pro-Chavez neighborhoods saw much
stronger participation.

            CNE President Rodriguez cited another factor that influenced
turnout today, besides the boycott, which was "severe" weather
conditions in several states, including the capital, which
made voting more difficult than usual.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Dec 06 2005 - 00:00:01 EST