Venezuelan Opposition Scores Victory in Defeat

September 27, 2010

The Venezuelan opposition scored a big victory, despite its defeat in not having a majority of the National Assembly. The opposition obtained 52.9% of the vote, obtaining 635,000 more votes nationwide than Chavez’ PSUV party. Thus, the opposition not only managed to block Chávez from obtaining a two-thirds majority, its minimum political goal, but also showed how rigged the system is when it obtained a majority of the votes, but only around 40% of the Assembly pending the undecided seats.

The results emphasized how rigged the system is, as the Venezuelan Constitution guarantees in Article 63 the right to proportional representation, but Chavismo, through its control of all powers changed rules and districts in order to insure it could retain control of the national Assembly. These changes were brought to the attention of the Venezuelan Supreme Court who either rejected the cases or has never ruled on them, showing once again, that the rule of law is seriously compromised in Venezuela. The results highlights that Chavez’ “legitimacy” is seriously questioned now, given this victory despite the loss in the popular vote.

The biggest loser in the election was not Chávez, but Henri Falcón, the Governor of Lara State who split from Chávez selling himself as an alternative to Chávez, but who failed to obtain a single seat in the Assembly.

There were some surprises at the regional level, such as the 12 to 1 victory in Zulia State, a victory for that state’s Governor Pablo Perez, as well as surprising victories in Anzoátegui, Sucre and Aragua state in what had been considered Chavismo strongholds. In Caracas’ Capital District, the opposition obtained more votes than Chavismo, but received only 3 out of ten Deputies. Acción Democrática, became the opposition’s largest party, obatining 1.8 million votes nationwide out of the 5.7 million obtained by the MUD parties.

Not having a two thirds majority implies that the Government will now have to sit and negotiate naming Supreme Court Justices, the General Prosecutor, the Comptroller, and the People’s Ombudsman or approve major structural changes in the country’s structures.

But the results do not guarantee that Chávez will stop the pace of his revolution. He has some of the Bills he needs in place to continue forward and he can increase parallel funds to promote his pet projects away from the supervision of the National Assembly. However, the opposition will have a strong and constant presence in the Assembly that will give it visibility going forward.

For Chávez, the results are a warning sign in the face of the 2012 Presidential election. If oil does not increase significantly in the next two years, problems will compound as oil production drops and the lack of investment continues to have important effects on infrastructure. Add crime, inflation and lower imports and the panorama is not easy for the Venezuelan President.

Thus, no spin can change the impact of the opposition victory. No participatory democracy like the Venezuelan one can have the results obtained last night. For once, Chavez’ tricks and treachery show dramatically what he is about and that alone is a huge victory for the opposition.

46 Responses to “Venezuelan Opposition Scores Victory in Defeat”

  1. Roberto N Says:


    Unfortunately both Silly Flowers and “Fosforito” Varela are both repeats.

    I think whoever ends up on a committee with Varela should qualify for combat pay!

  2. Deanna Says:

    Are those ridiculous women (Cilia Flores and Iris Varela) still in the Assembly? if not, I am really happy. If they are, then they will have to debate (maybe this time without repeating the same words as the “Supremo” an intelligent and articulate woman like Maria Corina.

    Seriously, though, the opposition deputies not only have to continue working in a unified way, but they also have to show results to their constituents, make sure that they are informed by visiting them regularly (as if they were campaigning), meeting the people, asking them to state their concerns and ensuring that their problems are solved (to the extent that they can). This is the only way that Chavez can be defeated in 2012.

  3. Roberto N Says:

    That was 9 minutes of how to answer without answering, with a few “you must be an idiot” cherries thrown on top.

    I found myself reaching for my shoe before I realized it wouldn’t do anything from here.

  4. ErneX Says:

    Cringe like I did watching Chávez not answering a question for over 9 minutes:

    Kudos to the journalist that asked the appropriate question!

  5. J.E. Says:

    Ok, so now it makes sense.

    CNE releases a set of incomplete numbers arguing that the few circuits that they did not include were too close to call. Seems reasonable.

    However, when compared to the numbers released by the MUD the percentages shift, enough to show the opposition ahead in the popular vote, measured by adding up the lista votes.

    So now one has to wonder if the MUD is lying? Or is the CNE withholding key information?

  6. Roger Says:

    While not all we had hoped for reasons stated above, it does signal the return of the opposition to the national political arena. When the other side opens their mouth the opposition has the right to counter the statement and the press the right to quote both sides. Lets just hope that the opposition stays away from the whiskey ! What they need to do at this point is to seize the moment and come up with a plan that will address the problems of the country and that Venezuelans will support. Though not very original though it might be in Spanish, ” Contract with Venezuela” and the cornerstone which I also stole from President Aquino the new of the Philippines… ” CORRUPTION = POVERTY ” are good starts. Most of the work for this has already been done by groups like the World Bank and is even translated into Spanish! The good side of not having the majority is that they will not have to take the blame for the economic crash that becomes more inevitable every day. Also, can these new opposition deputies take heat, I wonder?

  7. J.E. Says:

    Btw, Thanks so much for your coverage yesterday. It was simply outstanding!

  8. moctavio Says:

    It’s the Mud an agrees with El Universal’s numbers today, have not checked it

  9. J.E. Says:


    “These are the final numbers, from list votes:

    MUD 5,448,864
    PSUV+PCV 5,259,998
    PPT 330,260”

    Is this the MUD’s tally of the actas?

  10. Kolya Says:

    I guess I’m too lazy to check myself: all in all, did the opposition gain a significant number of votes or was abstention of usually pro-Chavez folks a more important factor?

    (The system is rigged to favor Chavez, but I was disappointed by the fact that the PSUV got so many votes.)

  11. Charly Says:

    It took them eleven hours to do it but in the end they managed. Now the PSUV has more votes than the oppo. These Smartmatic are fantastic. Chavez is just spending endless words trying to convince himself. Pathetic!

  12. Juancho Says:

    We know that Chavez will not back off with his insane agenda. Since he has to have the assembly on his side to henceforth push through really telling and substantive changes, and since the opposition who will be sitting in the assembly will never green light the red shirt’s moronic shite, Chavez has only one choice – Go over or around or simply change the rules for the assembly. I predict this will be his undoing, because as was already said, while he at least pays lip service to a democratic style, ignoring or subverting the assembly is the transparent act of a dictator, simple as rain.

    It might take a few more years, but old Hugo Chavez F. is finished.


  13. amieres Says:

    According to the CNE data chavismo is still the majority but barely:

    PSUV: 5,399,390 48.17%
    MUD: 5,312,293 47.39%

    With those percentages and thanks to the unproportionality of the system they got:

    PSUV: 93 61%
    MUD: 60 39%

    The key to this mistery is found in several built-in features of the electoral system:

    a) Over representation of smaller states:
    A vote in Delta Amacuro is worth 6 times a vote in Miranda because it takes 16,000 votes to get a representative in Delta as opposed to 100,000 votes in Miranda.
    Except for Nva. Esparta chavismo won in all of the over-represented states (Delta, Apure, Cojedes, Vargas, Yaracuy, Barinas & Portuguesa), conversely most of the states where MUD won are under-represented (Carabobo, Miranda, Zulia)

    b) Gerrymaindering of electoral circuits:
    By clustering together and underrepresenting opposition circuits
    For example in Miranda:
    Circuit 3 (Petare) with 321,000 voters chooses 1 representative.
    Circuit 4 (several) with 314,000 voters chooses 2 representatives.

    Circuit 4 is the result of breaking up Municipio Sucre and isolating Petare and fusing the other parries with other chavista municipios.
    As a result a PSUV vote in Miranda is worth 1.5 MUD votes.

    Interestingly enough in Zulia and Tachira the gerrymaindering had the opposite effect: an MUD vote in Tachira is worth 3.7 PSUV votes. This explains why Tachira and Zulia did better than Miranda even though they percentages were lower:

    Miranda 57% – 41% produced 6 – 6
    Tachira 56% – 42% produced 5 – 1
    Zulia 55% – 44% produced 12 – 3

    c) Multivote in some circuits. By allowing a voter to cast multiple votes non proportionality is assured. The dominating party gets two or three representatives for the price of one.
    This happens in 18 Circuits (4 of which have triple-vote). PSUV won in 13 of those circuits including all of the triple-vote which means they got 13 + 4 = 17 free representatives, MUD got 5.
    In fact, all of Lara circuits are multiple vote (2 double-vote and one triple-vote) which explains why PPT was denied a representative with 28% of the vote.

    d) Non proportionality of List vote. The list vote was originally intended to correct the non proportionality that the nominal vote produces but the CNE changed the rules and now it actually accentuates the non proportionality by giving a bonus representative to whomever dominated the state maintaining the hegemony instead of balancing the inequality.

    Proportionality is a constitutional requirement. In previous elections they used the infamous MOROCHAS to by-pass this requeriment, this time they just change the law (or the rules, I’m not sure) making it inconstitutional.

  14. Dillis Says:

    According to Reporte Confidencial, Piedad Cordoba is in Caracas already requesting asylum! There’s no way even Chavez can give that publicly!

  15. island canuck Says:

    By the way both Noticiero Digital & continue to be blocked by CANTV.

    I would assume it’s a penalty for blogs & ND publishing reports of election results before Tibisay was finished with her siesta last night.

    You can still reach them both through proxies.
    ND is also advising that the use of the Opera browser in Turbo mode does the trick, at least temporarily.

  16. island canuck Says:

    Miguel said:

    “One word for Anzoategui and Nueva Esparta: Blackouts!”

    Wow. What a change that will be. – Not!

    Other than having the lights off permanently we won’t notice the difference.

  17. geha714 Says:

    0311: No problem, man.

  18. moctavio Says:

    One word for Anzoategui and Nueva Esparta: Blackouts!

  19. concerned Says:

    Just realized that Anzoategui returned MUD 7 to PSUV 1, instead of 5 to 1. That’s gotta sting…Tarrek’s days are numbered. PSUV and PDVSA can’t represent the two largest oil reserves in Zulia and Anzoategui????

  20. 0311 Says:

    geha714: Thanks for the information. I just don’t trust politicans and being a good boy scout I like to be prepared for the worse.

  21. moctavio Says:

    Carabobo State is a jewel, MUD gets 10% more votes that Chavismo, but only gets 1 out of the seven nominal Deputies.

  22. geha714 Says:

    0311: Well, if he wants to do it, OK. He has to call a referendum. Bring it on.

  23. moctavio Says:

    These are the final numbers, from list votes:

    MUD 5,448,864
    PSUV+PCV 5,259,998
    PPT 330,260

    MUD+PPT =5,779129 or 51% of the vote, PPT says it is opposition, let’s see if it lasts

    Deputies 66 with four to go

  24. metodex Says:

    Is venezuela giving shelter to Piedad Cordoba?
    if it does: Is this bad for colombian-venezuelan relations AND the international ground?

  25. 0311 Says:

    Has anything in the past stopped the a$$clown from changing or ignoring the constitution? I don’t want to rain on the victory parade but be prepared for him to do anything and everything to ensure that he is king forever.

  26. sid Says:

    well, unfortunately, dear gentlemen, the very start of the new asamblea will be on 5th of January, 2011. So, Hughito gorilloso will jump on speed, and within October, November, December will create a Cuba Nova, or something like that. Sorry, that it does not soud from LatAm (perhaps I am mistaken, and if- for good). For me it is a menace, as the law in socialist ctries are done within hours and diputados are ordered to agree in seconds. The Robolution needs it, then it is O.K. Moctavio did perfect work for us in East Europe.

  27. geha714 Says:

    0311: Not quite. They have to anmmend several articles of the constitution.

  28. 0311 Says:

    Does Chavez have time to have his present pets in the AN to change the law to where only a simple majority is required for him to cram his changes down your throats? I am not sure how soon the AN will take office and if the present AN can still makes laws?

  29. marc in calgary Says:

    metodex, here’s a link with further links to the ongoing story of Piedad Cordoba… 🙂

    and it’s only alluded to that this is a result of the information soon to be found in the FARC computers. I think the Colombian’s have found the mother lode of FARC secrets.

  30. Syd Says:

    Thanks, Miguel, for on your on-the-ground reporting and for bringing us, live, this welcome news.

  31. PaulaH Says:

    thanks for the analysis Miguel!
    I am sorry, what what else would you expect from him and his government>? certainly not a fair and legal game. He has demonstrated this countless amounts of times! what are we expecting? a democracy? he is a dictator exactly like Fidel is to Cuba….same model! I am not surprise that this happened… Are you?

  32. Humberto Says:

    Never prouder to be born and raised in the great state of Zulia.

  33. Simon Antonio's Ghost Says:

    So, this is how I see the next two years in the AN:

    Oppo AN members will propose laws that are truly beneficial for anyone, but that reduce Chave’z total control of the state (e.g., decentralization, collective bargaining agreements for state workers, investigations of corruption on PDVAL and everywhere else, depoliticization of government-owned media, etc.), and the PSUV AN will shoot them down, and then will look like idiots trying to find arguments to explain to “the people”(tm) why all those things were nothing more than evil plans of the empire to undermine the robolution.

    And does anyone else think that after yesterday’s results, Zulianos should start pushing a referendum for the creation of “La Republica Independiente Del Zulia”? I’m not saying they should separate from Venezuela, but they can easily push Chavez’s re-centralization back by threatening to do it if he doesn’t back the f**k off.

  34. concerned Says:

    It will be interesting to see how long the basics remain on the shelves after the election. All the items and services artificially floated up until the vote with the help of the Chinese bailout should dry up quickly. All the promises made surely couldn’t come true, rewarding such a pathetic display of support. Heads will role and stomachs will rumble.

    Must have found some more interesting info on the laptops from last weeks blows to the FARC. Piedad is safer in Venezuela than Colombia.

  35. metodex Says:

    breaking news???

    Piedad Cordoba, colombian senator has been condemned and “destituida” because of ties and colaboration to the FARC. She was here in Venezuela yesterday with the PSUV.

  36. mick Says:

    It is good that the opposition got a majority of the votes but a minority of the seats. This way the PSUV will still be holding-the-bag for all the problems that they have caused. The minority can now debate all of Chavez’s dictates, and not be blamed when the pass. When the dam runs down again and all the promised solutions fail to materialize because they can’t sell oil for $200 a barrel, even Venezuelans will realize that they have been conned.

    No economy can be completely capitalistic or socialistic. Even Castro, the guy who admitted begging the Russians to start World War 3, has had to give in to the idea.

    Personally, although I have no desire to take away from my neighbors
    I believe:
    * I should have the right to work harder to provide more for my family.
    * I should be able to sacrifice so I can save for my future.
    * I should be able to help my children get a better start to their lives than I had.
    These are true in nature but not in a synthetic communistic society. That is why the Hugos and Fidels of the world will always leave their mark in the pain and misery of the masses.

  37. liz Says:

    I love this post. It’s very positive and I feel very positive today.

    No matter how rigged is the system, the numbers show that chavistas do not have the whole country under their red spell.

    About Henry Falcon: I guess people did not fall for him. In spanish, no se tragaron el cuento. There cannot be any confidence for a guy and a party that supported the regime until some months ago. Suddenly they ‘saw the light’?? Yeah right!

    The oppo will now be a big pain in the neck for the Psuv in the Assembly and that alone, is a victory in my book.

  38. elliv Says:

    CNE numbers are pretty close to 100% Like 98-99%. So it seems PSUV list beat MUD list or i missed something.

  39. moctavio Says:

    MUD numbers are 100% of the Actas, CNE numbers are not.

  40. LD Says:

    thanks Miguel, but this is what they intend, no official numbers until at least a couple of days. Chávez says, “let them continue to “win””, as if it wasn’t true. Goebbels at its best… If they have more seats, they should have the majority or not?…
    I can’t understand, with an all computarized system, they should have the results in a minute…

  41. geha714 Says:

    Welcome to Venezuela: When you can lose an election even if you have the majority.

    I knew that Chavismo would get the simple majority of deputies because the system was prepared for that purpose. Still, to defeat Chavez in the National Vote Tally is a great sucess.

    The polls in Lara went off Mockus-style, and Falcon lost his political capital, so I expect him to reevaluate his current stand. Many pollsters also went off with the total number of MUD deputies (I’m looking at you L.V. Leon & Mario Seijas!). The surprise was Anzoategui & Sucre (Tarek is toast).

    The real losers beside Henri Falcon are Chavez and the CNE. Chavez make this election a referendum on himself and he failed. As the coward he is, left his fans in the cold in Miraflores last night.

    The less said about the CNE the better. WTF was the whole deal last night? Four hours of looking an empty 2nd floor on TV and the arrogance of Tibi and her crew, leaves the CNE as the laughing stock of elections worldwide.

    The fight goes on. Venezuela needs us, now more than ever.

  42. elliv Says:

    It’s PSUV 5399390 votes and MUD 5312293 votes in my excel sheet. Amazonas outstanding. This are lista votes and numbers from CNE website.

  43. moctavio Says:

    Trying to check those precise numbers, I was givgen 5.78 million versus 5.144 by someone from MUD, but others saying different ones.

  44. LD Says:

    Congratulations to the venezuelans! Thank you Miguel for your live reporting yesterday!
    To me, it looks like 2007 again, delayed results, not showing the final numbers. The news here in Germany speaks as Chavez has won the elections (with more voters than the oposition). There are people (s. aporrea) who thinks they have the most votes.
    It is important to show the final numbers soon in a accountable way.
    But hey, 52,9% against him must be very painfull for Hugo!

  45. RWG Says:

    It is a start. Chavez will not change for the good. He will become more evil and authoritarian. His rat-like government may or may not start jumping ship. However, every action of Chavez will be open for debate in the National Assembly. Voices will be heard countering Chavez.

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