The New York Times’ William Neuman breaks down the election. Two money quotes:
The government used a huge spending increase to boost the economy and consolidate support before the election, according to Ricardo Hausmann, the director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. At the same time it used price controls and cheap imports to tamp down inflation.
“They engineered an electoral year boomlet that is now going to fizzle,” said Mr. Hausmann, who supported Mr. Capriles. He predicted a recession that could bring political consequences. “I think there’s going to be disappointment with Chávez fairly soon,” he said.
… and this one
Francisco Rodríguez, an economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, speculated that Mr. Chávez might propose changing the succession rules so that the vice president, who is selected by the president, serves out the remainder of a vacated presidency. If the opposition weakens from its defeat, the change might win the necessary popular approval.
“He can catch the opposition in a state of disarray and get that passed without much trouble and then he would control the succession issue,” Mr. Rodríguez said.
Francisco is right – this is probably coming. In fact, Luisa Estela Morales, president of the TSJ, said last week said that when people vote for a person, they really vote for a political process. So let’s not kid ourselves with the cancer issue. I used to think that was a way out, not so much any more …