Venezuelan presidential election, 2013

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Venezuelan presidential election, 2013
Venezuela
2012 ←
14 April 2013 (2013-04-14)
→ 2018

Turnout 79.78%
  Maduro en el Congreso peruano.jpg Henrique Capriles Radonski from Margarita island.jpg
Candidate Nicolás Maduro Henrique Capriles Radonski
Party PSUV PJ
Alliance GPP MUD
Home state Capital District Miranda
States carried 15 + CD 8
Popular vote 7,575,704 7,302,648
Percentage 50.78% 48.95%

President before election

Nicolás Maduro
PSUV

Elected President

Nicolás Maduro
PSUV

Venezuela

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Venezuela



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A presidential election was held in Venezuela on 14 April 2013 following the death of President Hugo Chávez on 5 March 2013.[1] Voters gave Nicolás Maduro—who had assumed the role of acting president since Chávez's death—a narrow victory over his opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski, the Governor of Miranda. Capriles had run in the previous election less than a year before, losing to Chávez by an 11-point margin. This time the margin of victory was much smaller. The Venezuelan authorities announced that voting went smoothly and that there was no evidence of any irregularities with almost 200 international observers overseeing the voting.[2]

Capriles has refused to accept the results of the election, claiming election irregularities and calling for a full audit of the election results. Maduro has stated that he will accept an audit of the election results while the election board has not agreed to opposition demands for a total recount.[2]

Background

Following Chávez's victory in the 2012 presidential election, he went to Cuba for cancer treatment, returning to Venezuela to stay at an army hospital for continued treatment. On and after 10 January, opponents of Chávez unsuccessfully called for presidential elections to be held after he was unable to be sworn into office due to his illness.[3] Unofficial campaigning had already begun before Chávez's death.[4]

Candidates

Great Patriotic Pole

Venezuela's foreign minister announced Nicolás Maduro as interim president.[5] Maduro was chosen by Hugo Chávez as his successor and became the presidential candidate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.[6]

Democratic Unity Roundtable

The opposition has agreed on 2012 candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski as the candidate to run against Maduro.[7] Capriles has announced that he has accepted the nomination and will compete against Maduro.[8]

Other candidates

Campaign

The most pressing issues were the high murder rate, particularly in the capital, the state of the economy, and land rights. The opposition accused Maduro of trying to use Chávez's memory and image to win votes.[13]

The campaign was characterised by insults from both sides. Examples include Maduro calling Capriles "Prince of the Bourgeoisie" and "capricious", while Capriles described Maduro as "Satan"[14] and as "bird brain", "great fool", and "liar".[15] Maduro also "employed comments that were regarded as homophobic, calling Capriles a 'little princess' while declaring 'I have my woman, I like women'."[15] In the campaign, Maduro sang a rap song in which he described his opponent as "the little bourgeois shit who shits himself of fear when the people raise their voice". He also implied that Capriles was gay, referring to him being unmarried. Capriles then said he loves so many women he can't decide. He also declared that Maduro's wife was ugly and asked who wants to be with her.[16]

Capriles declined to sign a National Electoral Council of Venezuela document committing to recognising the result, as he had before the 7 October election, committing instead to "respect the popular will".[17] Diosdado Cabello, leader of the PSUV, presented evidence, including phone recordings, emails, and other documents, supposedly demonstrating that the opposition has planned to not recognize the election results, possibly to stir international problems.[18] He also expressed doubts about the credibility of the election, while Maduro said he was ready to accept the result.[19] The last day of campaigning was 11 April.

On 12 April, Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced on national television that two Colombians had been arrested who had been posing as Venezuelan military officials and sought to disrupt the election. He also announced the finding of an arms cache said to be linked to Salvadoran mercenaries the government had previously accused of plotting to kill Maduro.[20]

Throughout the campaign, Maduro had continued using similar anti-American rhetoric as Chávez had in the past.[21] However, comments he made in private over the weekend before the election suggested a potential "détente" in United States–Venezuela relations. Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, who was in Venezuela during the election as an Organization of American States (OAS) representative, recounted how Maduro personally told him he "want[ed] to improve the relationship with the U.S. [and] regularize the relationship."[22]

Monitors

According to the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, 170 foreign observers were invited to witness the election.[23]

Opinion polls

Pollster Date Maduro Capriles
Hinterlaces[24] February 2013 50 36
Datanálisis[25] March 2013 49.2 34.8
Hinterlaces[26] March 2013 53 35
ICS[27] March 2013 58.2 40.5
IVAD[28] March 2013 53.8 31.6
Dataincorp[29] March 2013 61 26
Hinterlaces[29] March 2013 55 35
IVAD[30] March 2013 53.8 30.8
GIS XXI[31] March 2013 55.3 44.7
IVAD[32] March 2013 53.3 34.7
Datamática[33] April 2013 34.9 39.7
DatinCorp[34] April 2013 44 43
Datamática[35] April 2013 30.6 42.1
Datanálisis[36] April 2013 54.8 45.1
Results 14 April 2013 50.78 48.95

Results

The results came as a surprise, as Maduro was leading by double digit figures in most opinion polls conducted two weeks before the election.[6] Furthering the unexpected closeness of the race was the fact that Chávez had defeated Capriles comfortably in October 2012 by a margin of more than 10%.[37]

The voter turnout of 79.78% was less than one percentage point lower than in the October election.[6]

Candidate Party Votes %
Nicolás Maduro Great Patriotic Pole 7,575,704 50.78
Henrique Capriles Radonski Democratic Unity Roundtable 7,302,648 48.95
Eusebio Mendez New Vision for my Country 19,475 0.13
María Bolívar United Democratic Party for Peace and Freedom 13,278 0.08
Reina Sequera Worker's Party 4,229 0.02
Julio Mora Democratic Unity Party 1,928 0.01
Valid votes 14,917,262 99.55
Invalid/blank votes 66,691 0.44
Total 14,983,953 100
Registered voters 18,904,364 79.78
Source: National Electoral Commission

Results by state

References would improve this section
States/districts won by Nicolás Maduro
States/districts won by Henrique Capriles Radonski
Nicolás Maduro
PSUV
Henrique Capriles Radonski
MUD
Others
various
Margin State total
State #  % #  % #  % #  % #
Capital District 651,062 51.32 611,359 48.19 6,202 0.49 39,703 3.13 1,268,623
Amazonas 38,271 52.45 34,591 47.41 93 0.14 3,680 5.04 72,955
Anzoátegui 383,125 47.32 424,685 52.45 1,775 0.23 −41,560 −5.13 809,585
Apure 141,642 61.73 87,467 38.12 325 0.15 54,175 23.61 229,434
Aragua 512,379 54.05 432,265 45.60 3,249 0.35 80,114 8.45 947,893
Barinas 214,294 52.21 195,613 47.65 529 0.14 18,681 4.56 410,436
Bolívar 351,567 47.87 380,642 51.83 2,084 0.29 −29,075 −3.96 734,293
Carabobo 610,403 50.51 595,089 49.24 2,969 0.25 15,314 1.27 1,208,461
Cojedes 107,493 61.16 67,936 38.65 316 0.19 39,557 22.51 175,745
Delta Amacuro 50,409 61.28 31,671 38.50 180 0.22 18,738 20.78 82,260
Falcón 266,077 53.04 234,464 46.74 1,033 0.22 31,613 6.30 501,574
Guárico 229,596 59.22 157,441 40.61 597 0.17 72,155 18.61 387,635
Lara 470,203 47.71 512,604 52.02 2,541 0.27 −42,401 −4.31 985,348
Mérida 202,395 42.88 268,723 56.94 787 0.18 −66,328 −14.06 471,905
Miranda 736,945 47.29 814,892 52.30 6,249 0.41 −77,947 −5.01 1,558,086
Monagas 262,349 55.46 209,708 44.33 947 0.21 52,631 11.13 473,004
Nueva Esparta 125,143 46.90 141,236 52.94 395 0.16 −16,093 −6.04 266,774
Portuguesa 303,189 65.43 158,818 34.27 552 0.30 144,371 31.16 463,359
Sucre 269,361 57.51 198,345 42.35 619 0.14 71,016 15.16 468,282
Táchira 234,884 36.97 399,460 62.88 904 0.18 −164,576 −25.91 635,248
Trujillo 233,892 59.78 156,449 39.99 852 0.23 77,443 20.45 391,193
Vargas 118,752 57.08 88,392 42.49 882 0.43 30,360 14.59 208,026
Yaracuy 184,045 56.57 140,509 43.19 751 0.24 43,536 13.38 325,305
Zulia 878,228 47.68 960,289 52.13 3,278 0.19 −82,061 −4.45 1,841,795
Totals: 7,575,704 50.78 7,302,648 48.95 38,910 0.26 273,056 1.83 14,917,262

Controversy

The electoral commission declared that the results of the election were "irreversible."[37] Nevertheless, Capriles Radonski refused to concede defeat and demanded a recount.[38] He claimed that there were over 3,000 incidents of irregularity that needed to be investigated. Following a telephone conversation between Capriles and Maduro, the latter publicly promised he would permit an audit to be conducted on the results. Maduro also claimed that Capriles proposed a "pact," which he rejected.[6]

After the election results were announced, car horns blared and fireworks were lit by Chavistas as celebrations took place in downtown Caracas.[6] In contrast, opposition supporters protested by banging pots and pans in the streets, while some of Capriles' supporters gathered outside his party's headquarters in sorrow. Despite being scheduled to be sworn in as President on 19 April, the CNE proclaimed Maduro as president on 15 April, less than a day after the results were announced.[39] He is scheduled to hold the office until January 2019.[37]

Aftermath

After Capriles' call for the electoral commission not to officially proclaim Maduro the winner, National Guard troops and students clashed in Altamira Square. The troops used tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse the students who were pacifically protesting the official.[40] At least 7 deaths and 61 injuries were reported throughout the country after the elections.[41] Attorney-General Luisa Ortega Diaz claimed that the violence included the burning of several medical clinics, offices of the national telephone company, grocery stores and other businesses.[42]

References

  1. Venezuela announces post-Chavez election date BBC, 9 March 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Venezuela's Capriles refuses to accept Maduro victory until election audit. Russia Today. URL accessed on 15 April 2013.
  3. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is dead, according to country's vice president AP, 5 March 2013
  4. Venezuela: Chavez very delicate with new infection Cortez Journal, 4 March 2013
  5. Venezuela's foreign minister says VP Maduro is interim president Fox News, 5 March 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Chavez heir Maduro takes narrow win in Venezuela", CBC News, 15 April 2013. Retrieved on 15 April 2013. 
  7. Venezuela opposition agrees Capriles to run for presidency-sources Reuters, 6 March 2013
  8. Venezuela's Capriles to run for president Al Jazeera English, 10 March 2013.
  9. Reina Sequera presentó su postulación a la Presidencia de la República. Consejo Nacional Electoral. URL accessed on 15 March 2013.
  10. María Bolívar será candidata para las elecciones presidenciales del 14-A. URL accessed on 15 March 2013.
  11. http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/sala_prensa/noticia_detallada.php?id=3117
  12. Ocho candidatos y candidatas se presentaron ante el CNE. cne.gov.ve. URL accessed on 15 March 2013.
  13. Venezuela polls overshadowed by Chavez Al Jazeera English, 9 April 2013.
  14. Venezuelanalysis.com, 8 April 2013, Insults and Promises in Venezuelan Presidential Campaign as Vote Draws Near
  15. 15.0 15.1 Venezuelanalysis.com, 8 April 2013, Venezuela’s Snap Presidential Election: A Campaign without Issues?
  16. Starka känslor i Venezuelas valkampanj Sveriges Radio, 11 April 2013.
  17. Venezuelanalysis.com, 9 April 2013, Capriles Attacks Venezuelan Electoral Council, Refuses to Sign Document
  18. "Venezuelanalysis.com", 9 April 2013, Venezuela Government Releases Evidence that Opposition is Planning to Recognise Election Results
  19. Counting begins in vital Venezuela vote - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  20. Venezuela claims to foil 'election plot' - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  21. Neuman, William Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory. New York Times. New York Times. URL accessed on 16 April 2013.
  22. Neuman, William. "Venezuela Gives Chávez Protégé Narrow Victory", 14 April 2013. Retrieved on 15 April 2013. 
  23. Shoichet, Catherine E. Venezuelan opposition candidate demands recount. URL accessed on 15 April 2013.
  24. "Poll: Venezuela's VP Maduro Would Win Vote If Chavez Goes", newsmaxworld, 19 February 2013. Retrieved on 9 March 2013. 
  25. Spanish Encuesta Datanálisis & Barclays: Maduro aventaja a Capriles en 14,4 puntos. Noticias 24. URL accessed on 19 March 2013.
  26. Spanish "Hinterlaces: Maduro supera a Capriles Radonski por 18 puntos", VTV, 19 March 2013. Retrieved on 9 March 2013. 
  27. Spanish "VTV: Encuestadora ICS: Si las elecciones fueran hoy, 58,2 % votaría por Nicolás Maduro", VTV, 19 March 2013. Retrieved on 22 March 2013. 
  28. Spanish "Noticias24 Confidenciales: 53,8% votaría por Maduro y 31,6% por Capriles el 14-A, según Ivad", Noticias24, 24 March 2013. Retrieved on 24 March 2013. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 Spanish "Noticias24 “Maduro ganaría con 61% de los votos si las elecciones fueran este domingo”, según Hinterlaces", Noticias24, 31 March 2013. Retrieved on 31 March 2013. 
  30. Spanish "telesurTV: Encuesta da como ganador a Nicolás Maduro con 53,8% en comicios del 14 de abril", Noticias24, 31 March 2013. Retrieved on 31 March 2013. 
  31. Spanish "Noticias24: GIS XXI: si las elecciones fuesen este domingo 55,3% votaría por Maduro y 44,7% por Capriles", Noticias24, 1 April 2013. Retrieved on 1 April 2013. 
  32. Spanish "Prensa Latina: Encuesta ratifica ventaja de Maduro con miras a comicios venezolanos", Prensa Latina, 2 April 2013. Retrieved on 2 April. 
  33. "Poll: Capriles aventaja en 5 puntos a Nicolás Maduro, según una encuestadora argentina", abc, 7 April 2013. Retrieved on 7 April 2013. 
  34. "Exclusivo: encuesta revela que es ínfima la ventaja de Maduro sobre Capriles", ambito.com, 9 April 2013. Retrieved on 9 April 2013. 
  35. "Capriles aventaja a Maduro en intención de votos, según Datamática", miamidiario, 11 April 2013. Retrieved on 11 April 2013. 
  36. Spanish Maduro sigue aventajando a Capriles. Noticias 24. URL accessed on 11 April 2013.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 "Nicolas Maduro wins Venezuela", BBC News, 15 April 2013. Retrieved on 15 April 2013. 
  38. "Venezuela Opposition Candidate Says He Won't Accept Election Result Without Recount", ABC News, 15 April 2013. Retrieved on 15 April 2013. 
  39. Nicolás Maduro es proclamado presidente electo de Venezuela – CNN en Español – Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos - CNN.com Blogs
  40. Students clash with police in Venezuela - Americas - Al Jazeera English
  41. Vivian Sequera. "CHAVEZ HEIR CHARGES US IS BEHIND UNREST OVER VOTE US IS BEHIND UNREST OVER VOTE", 16 April 2013. Retrieved on 17 April 2013. 
  42. Mogollon, Mery; Kraul, Chris Kraul. "7 killed in Venezuela postelection violence". Los Angeles Times. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013

External links

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