The also rans...

The mystery has been solved: Meet María Bolívar.

Officially, the campaign starts today, but I bet most of you don’t know there’ll be more than two candidates on the presidential ballot. Initially, CNE admitted eight nominations for the October 7th election. At the last minute, neo-PPT placeholder Rafael Uzcategui declined in favor of Hugo Chávez, leaving the final candidate tally at seven.

Public attention will of course be focused on the two with real chance to win, but who are the other five? Are they just tarjetón filler”? What do they stand for, if anything?

According to La Verdad, the five candidates share something beside been complete unknowns and lacking an Internet site: all have some kind of prior relation with Chavismo. Let’s take a look…

Those candidates will have the same amount of advertisement content allowed by the regulations of the electoral authoritah: Three daily minutes in every TV channel (including cable), four minutes in every radio station, half page of a regular newspaper and a full page in tabloid-type papers. Even the use of text messages will be limited to three SMS a week.

Will those five candidates use their space in the media? We are about to find out!