Venezuela (October 7, 2012)

Oct. 12, 2012, midnight

Venezuelans headed to the polls for the presidential election on Sunday, October 7. Incumbent Hugo CHAVEZ, leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela/ Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) ran against Henrique CAPRILES of the opposition group ‘Table of Democratic Unity’ / Mesa de la Unidad Democratica.

With 94 percent of the votes counted, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) reports CHAVEZ winning with 8136964 votes, or 55 percent of total votes.� CAPRILES won 6499575 votes or 44 percent. Additionally the CNE reported an 81 percent voter turnout, ostensibly making this the highest voter participation in Venezuela’s democratic history.

The results constitute the fourth consecutive victory for CHAVEZ in a presidential election. In theory, the President elected by a plurality vote to serve a six-year term. However, the re-election of officials is allowed indefinitely by a constitutional amendment, established in a 2009 national referendum. Therefore CHAVEZ will most likely extend his rule through to 2019.

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