HAVANA TIMES – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro affirmed that the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) won more than 300 of the 335 mayor’s races in Sundays elections, in which most of the opposition did not participate after denouncing that the elections would not be transparent, reported dpa.
The victory for the governing party occurred despite the oil-rich country being in economic crisis with salaries that do not reach US $15 a month, hyperinflation where the dollar is worth more than 90,000 bolivars, and a great shortage of basic products and medicines.
“It has been a great victory, a victory for the people in the face of the interference of US President Donald Trump,” Maduro said at a rally in the downtown Plaza Bolívar.
With the victory, Maduro strengthens his plan to seek re-election in 2018, currently scheduled for the end of the year. However he has noted that the elections could be moved up to the first quarter if the all-powerful Constituent Assembly so decides.
According to projections from the Venevisión private TV channel, the opposition retained three mayorships in the metropolitan area of Caracas that are opposition bastions: Chacao with Gustavo Duque, Baruta with Darwin González and El Hatillo with Elías Sayeh.
Maduro recognized the winners of those municipalities and called to work for the unity of the country.
Besides the municipal elections victories, Maduro’s party also won the governorship of the western state of Zulia, with Omar Prieto receiving 57.30 percent of the votes to candidate Manuel Rosales, running for the El Nuevo Tiempo paty, who obtained 42.7 percent.
According to the CNE figures, the opposition candidates who participated under the umbrella of small parties had won in the southwestern region of Táchira with the Social Christian Gustavo Delgado in the municipality of San Cristóbal, with 53.78 percent of the vote.
The chavistas retained the municipality of Libertador, in the center and west of Caracas, with the candidacy of former minister Erika Farias, while the PSUV took the municipality of Sucre, in the east of the city, with José Rangel Ávalos.
The CNE said that the participation in the elections was 47.32 percent, in an election marked by the abstention due to the withdrawal of the main opposition parties Acción Democrática, Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular.
The election for governor in Zulia was repeated because the opposition politician Juan Pablo Guanipa, who won the elections on October 15, was not allowed to take office when he refused to swear to the Constituent Assembly, dominated by Maduro followers and with plenipotentiary powers.
With this, the ruling party now has a total of 19 of the 24 governors.
Next in the sights of Maduro is his reelection in 2018, which he considers a given due to his steadfast resistance to US imperialism and its local agents, who he says wage an economic war against his government.
Maduro praised the participation of 9.3 million voters, of the 19.7 million voter rolls.
“A total of 9.3 million Venezuelans voted, a record in municipal elections, despite the call from the opposition to abstain. The opposition was afraid to measure their support, but we were ready to measure ours. If they had participated, I am sure we would have obtained a great victory,” he noted.
“Hope triumphed today, peace, the revolution of hope, love has triumphed,” said Maduro as he called for unity in the country to face the crisis due to the economic depression and high inflation. “Our path is electoral; it is democracy, sovereignty, true democracy,” he added.