[News] Chavez Party wins 114 or 68% of 167 seats in Venezuela's new National Assembly

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 5 08:59:53 EST 2005

Published: Monday, December 05, 2005
Bylined to: <mailto:editors at venezuelanalysis.com>Gregory Wilpert

MVR wins 114 or 68% of 167 seats in Venezuela's new National Assembly

Venezuelanalysis.com Gregory Wilpert: Chavez' 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 strong.

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' 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 legitimacy."


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 Accion Democratica (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.

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