Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez Successor, Elected President of Venezuela With 50.7 Percent of the Vote, Challenge from Opposition Likely

todavía noJoseMa Orsini/Foter.comDespite hope that the mood in the country was starting to change, Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro was elected president  of Venezuela by a razor-thin margin, according to the national electoral authority. He received just 300,000 more votes than Henry Capriles, who last year lost by just 11 points to Hugo Chavez, Chavez’s closest electoral victory.  In the wake of Chavez’s death, the ruling party mobilized the state apparatus to secure victory for his successor, with the defense ministry pledging the support of the army for Maduro’s election campaign.

The victory is far from certain; earlier today the Carpiles campaign was sure it had won and further inspection of the tally could well reveal electoral fraud

Follow updates on the situation throughout the week at Reason 24/7.

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  • Irish||

    I think the phrase "National Election Authority" should be in sarcastic scare quotes.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I hate to be That Guy, but this was an obviously stolen election. Socialists like Maduro and Chavez are pure scum, and they have a stranglehold on the government's institutions. Sure, their power base isn't strong enough to do a "fuck you" 99.9% of the vote win for their machine candidate, but they can rustle up more than enough votes from that control of the government to have stolen an election within that margin.

    Fuck.

  • Acosmist||

    Yeah, I imagine you don't want to be one of the 49.3% right now.

  • Acosmist||

    Basically OT:

    Can someone tell me why a recount is presumed more accurate than the original count? Or is it? I never really got how that worked. If the recount changes the result, doesn't that call for a third count to break the tie?

  • ||

    Depends on how the recount is done. Sometimes a recount is a hand count which would be considered slower but more accurate (think Florida 2000).

  • Acosmist||

    That bothers me - so they're saying they intentionally do it an inaccurate way in the first place, but under certain conditions, they'll do it right? Goofy.

  • ||

    Most of the time the margin of victory is well outside the margin of error, that's why most localities in the US have automatic, goverment paid recounts if the election is within a certain margin (something like .1%, but this varies).

  • Bam!||

    They intentionally do it a quick way, and will do it an accurate way when required.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I'ts just another example of the Iron Triangle.

  • ||

    In the wake of Chavez’s death, the ruling party mobilized the state apparatus to secure victory for his successor, with the defense ministry pledging the support of the army for Maduro’s election campaign.

    Democracy: Great as long as you vote the way we want. If not, we may have to crack some skulls.

  • Irish||

    Given how small a margin this is, who thinks there's going to be some sort of violence? If the election was indeed stolen, there must be an incredibly number of royally pissed off people.

  • John Galt||

    ...who thinks there's going to be some sort of violence?

    Seems unlikely. Venezuelans are every bit as sheepish as Americans. A few may complain, but at the end of the day they'll just lay down and take it.

  • Rasilio||

    The problem with elections this close is that it doesn't really matter whether the election is "stolen" because if the party currently in power (or with the most power going in to the election) wins then the losing side will always believe that it has been stolen.

    This of course means that it is counterproductive for a sitting government to tinker with the electoral results and produce an outcome this close, it is much harder to claim fraud was the difference in the election with a 55/45 split than with a 50.7/49.3 split.

    If there was fraud (and there was, fraud is always present in national elections) at least it was sporadic and isolated and not a case where the entire election was a sham.

  • ||

    Well, given how awful Chavez was, and how Maduro plans on extending this, I'd say a civil war would be preferable than an indefinite reign of Maduro.

  • Boisfeuras||

    Previously Chavez—and now his stooge Maduro, has total control over the media in Venezuela. They bought up the one remaining independent TV station, and abuse "cadenas", essentially government-mandated commercials that shill for their campaigns and extol the glories of socialism. In that environment alone, not even addressing voter fraud and intimidation, it is hardly possible to have a fair election. See this article in The Atlantic by a Venezuelan human rights activist, Thor Halvorssen:

    "The gross unfairness of the 2012 presidential campaign is now seeing a rebirth in the post-Chavez campaign. In the current campaign between Maduro and Capriles, the abuse of cadenas is already in full effect. Since the campaign began, Maduro has taken of all broadcast media for 8 hours and 43 minutes of illegal campaigning. Meanwhile, the state television channel has broadcast 1 minute and 18 seconds of Capriles speaking. The only mentions of Capriles are to ridicule or to attack him. This extraordinary evidence of unfairness is utterly ignored by those observing the election process. The Venezuelan government has not authorized observers from the OAS for the upcoming contest."
  • JeremyR||

    So, basically like the US, where Fox New is the only non-Democrat TV station?

  • Boisfeuras||

    Now that you mention it, reading this sounded familiar:

    During Chavez's 14 years in power his supporters consolidated grass-roots power in Petare, where a half million of Venezuela's 29 million people reside, by divvying out cash for soup kitchens, senior centers, nurseries and other services.

    Nationwide, they built up a powerful machine staffed by several hundreds of thousands that compiles lists of government workers and recipients of government largesse and makes sure they get to the polls, even if they have to be driven there.
  • John Galt||

    It sucks watching Venezuela since it serves as a peek at what the future holds for the new "improved" socialist USA.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Has Carter affirmed the results?

  • John Galt||

    Ha ha ha!

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    Since the election was stolen I assume Carter will felate...I mean, affirm, the results.

  • John Galt||

    It's very difficult to like Venezuelans, they are too much like the Americans whose one purpose in life is to flush the USA down the socialist toilet.

  • WomSom||

    I actualyl like the sound of that.

    www.AnonNow.tk

  • G-dub||

    In a totally unrelated story, the CNE website is down until further notice, making it impossible to see the vote tallies. The Venezuelan government says this is to protect against international hackers.

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