Statement on Venezuela Elections

Venezuela Information Statement on Regional Elections in Venezuela

Regional elections held in Venezuela on November 23rd have been portrayed in the US media as a defeat for to the government of President Hugo Chávez, when in fact the results strongly favor his party, the PSUV. The vast majority of state governorships and mayoralties, including those in many strategic parts of the country such as the Orinoco Oil Belt, remain under pro-government leadership.

The majority of Venezuelan citizens voted for candidates aligned with the Chávez government. Due to this broad popular support, the PSUV and its allies won 77 percent of governorships and 80 percent of mayoralties. Even in Caracas, where the overarching metropolitan mayoralty went to the opposition, residents of the city's most populous district of Libertador elected a PSUV candidate as their local representative.

Voter turnout in the regional elections was a record-setting 65 percent. The electoral process was the 11th to occur in Venezuela in about a decade, and was deemed 'peaceful and exemplary' by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza. He commented that the process was a powerful expression of the maturity of the country's democratic institutions as well as the trust that Venezuelans have in them. The National Electoral Council again proved its reputation for efficient and accurate electoral oversight by posting official results online less than 24 hours after the polls closed.

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