Road to 16-D Update

Soraya Hernández, the MUD candidate for Monagas so far. But she has admitted that could change soon.

The final list of candidates for the December 16th regional elections, where we will elect Governors and State legislatures, is out. Even though Chavismo and the MUD are united in most states, both sides face splits in some important races.

For the opposition, the biggest concerns right now are the races in Táchira and Monagas.

In the Andean state of Táchira, incumbent governor César Pérez Vivas was chosen earlier by consensus, avoiding a primary there.

But the former mayor of San Cristóbal (the state’s capital and largest city) William Méndez, previously barred from running, decided then to run alone, without the backing of his party UNT. His wife is the current mayor of San Cristóbal.

In spite of the spat, it looks like a possible solution was found to end the stalemate: both candidates have apparently accepted to do a special poll (which was proposed by Méndez) that will decide who will be the MUD candidate.

The case of Monagas is more complicated. As Soraya Hernández won the 12-F primary, the Guarapiche oil spill created an eviromental crisis with strong political implications. After weeks of tensions, Chavista governor Jose Gregorio Briceño (aka “the cat”)  broke with the PSUV.

Months later, “El Gato” embraced the opposition and endorsed Henrique Capriles for the presidential election. The MUD is still backing primary winner Soraya Hernández, but she hinted that she would step aside if she’s asked. The story is still unfolding, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile at the Gran Polo Patriotico, the PCV isn’t the only party with its own set of candidates. The People’s Electoral Movement (a small party formed after AD split in the late sixties) is running solo in Anzoátegui and Apure. They’re also involved with the PCV and Tupamaros in supporting Florencio Porras in Merida, providing the MUD with a big opportunity to win there, in spite of the poor candidate the MUD is fielding.

The Tupamaros are making their own stand in Trujillo against incumbent governor Hugo Cabezas. Even the “expropiated” PPT is making noise about the lack of recognition from the PSUV’s leadership, related to the lists of candidates for Legislative Councils. A GPP meeting is expected this week to try reaching a political settlement. We’ll see if white (red?) smoke appears.

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  1. Let me say that Cesar Perez Vivas won his 2008 bid in a primary. Meanwhile, consensus has been applied in other places without glitches…

    BTW, they have an uphill battle, but they are all -and have been- electable. Despite the electoral system.

  2. It’s too bad for Soraya Hernández. She is the *only* female candidate for Governor we’re fielding, but she’s probably going to get discarded. It’s a shame because the MUD is seriously lacking in female leadership, particularly at the regional level.

  3. I think there is a real chance that the Tupamaros can win in Merida. Lester Rodriguez, who is the current major of Merida and the MUD candidate for governor, has been involved in a long battle with the current PSUV governor related to garbage collection in the city that will hurt him badly. Furthermore, some of us who have ties to Merida and the Universidad de los Andes (ULA) have heard a lot about some “shady dealings” during his time as ULA’s president and during the 2002 general strike. In fact, there are accusation of some of my colleagues that he helped in the start up of El Palito during the 2002 general strike.
    I think there will be some opposition voters that would prefer to see Florencio Porras, the tupamaro candidate, as governor rather than Lester Rodriguez.

  4. Ok I have question for the statisticians in the forum.
    How much can the percentages of votes swing between one Mesa and another within the same voting center?

    I ask because in this center:

    These were the results:
    Mesa 1: Chavez 44.12% Capriles 54.32%
    Mesa 2: Chavez 43.59% Capriles 55.95%
    Mesa 3: Chavez 43.47% Capriles 55.83%
    Mesa 4: Chavez 60.21% Capriles 38.70%
    Mesa 5: Chavez 51.33% Capriles 47.99%
    Mesa 6: Chavez 50.45% Capriles 48.85%

    Capriles wins in 3 mesas and loses in 3.

    Note: Mesa 4 is an anomaly, the vote tally doesn’t make any sense at all. You can disregard it, because probably the machine failed.

    My question is what are the odds of such a distribution considering mesas are supposed to be random distribution within a center?

    If in an actual election there are such big differences between mesas where every other factor is exactly the same, what can we expect from a pre electoral poll?
    I mean one mesa goes to Capriles with a 12% difference, another one goes to Chavez with a 3%. That’s a swing of 15% between mesas.

    • amieres,
      That result is actually very strange. I did an analysis for the 2010 results and concluded that deviations at the mesa level were very small and, more importantly, unbiased distributed with respect to center level results. We actually cocluded that one can project confidently the center result with the first incoming mesa…I haven´t checked the 2012 data though

      • Thanks, Omar
        Esdata has kind of an explanation:
        They say that that center is 96% unbalanced and the graph illustrates it very well.
        I still don’t understand why can a center be unbalanced in terms of the two latest digits of the cédula and why should that imbalance affect the prefference towards one side or another.

        Why do people with last two digits between 00 and 14 vote more for Capriles than people between 74-99?

        The only explanation would be that when cedulas are assigned some numbers are preassigned more for urban/rural settings or higher income/lower income.

  5. About Monagas, I have two reasons to dismiss “El Gato”
    1) We made a primary, mainly because MUD was selling the idea that they were emerging as a real democratic alternative. We have to be consistent and constant in our message.

    2) I don’t think we should endorse “El Gato”, just because he did the job he was supposed to do. Did he really made a good contribution in Monagas? How much vote had been casted to Capriles campaign thanks to him?

    Besides haven’t we learned already, how much screwed do we have to be to learn that we should not pick up all the trash that is being throw out by Chavismo, who are suspiciously switching sides when there is an upcoming election.
    Arias Cardenas, Ojeda, Baduel. Anyone?

    • 1) If we have to be consistent and constant in our message, then Capriles should have gone home and be planning another political move because he was elected to run for president, not reelection; Mr. Ocariz should have stuck to being candidate for governor as mandated by his voters, and PJ should have sought a replacement for their candidacy for mayor of Sucre municipality since Mr. Caldera had already resigned. All of the above is not the current case. Politics is about gaining support, swaying people, taking chances and not missing a single opportunity to achieve collective goals, whatever their sort. Since the MUD was able to shuffle their hopefuls for Miranda State, they might as well for Monagas State.

      2) El Gato did what he was NOT supposed to do: to stand up against the almighty PSUV and protect the people over there at all costs. You should know better by now: it’s not what we think, but what the Venezuelan political scenario is about. If correctness ruled this country above everything else, Chávez would be serving two thirds of his sentence for staging a coup. Take time to enquire what matters most to those people: the actions of El Gato or who is supporting Soraya Hernández. The answer is already out there.

      By the way, be careful with naming former Chavistas “trash”. We must not keep on playing the polarization card anymore because it’s better than the alternative: to reject a possible key ally.

      • Well that’s exactly the point Gabriel, What they did in Miranda illustrates how the MUD is changing their strategy of democratic transparency, to one that fits their political interest. But I can understand the case of Miranda, since Caldera had to drop the race, then Capriles should run to be Governor again, and Ocariz for Mayor. But Monagas? what’s exactly the case here? and the question remains, Will the chavista in Monagas that supported Chavez 3 weeks ago vote for ” El Gato”? I’m sorry but I don’t think El Gato will make a good contribution to the MUD.

        I’d rather lose standing by my principles, than losing because I choose to be more of the same, the dirty politician that everybody hates.

        I have a problem with “reject a possible key ally”, name one so far, that have come from Chavismo side?

        So I stand by to what I said, Baduel was allegedly stealing money from his own office, and when he got caught, he used the opposition for his own agenda. Ojeda the boring ugly ducky that always got rejected. Arias Cardenas, he infiltrated the opposition, the former UNT, when the opposition was disgustingly naive. Miquelena, he shitted and pitted the opposition, nevertheless he was welcomed with open arms. Shall I continue? What’s not say have some skeletons on his closets.

        What? are you afraid of losing a possible ally? It’s more likely for a man to be hit by a lightning three times in the same day, than a chavista switching sides because his governor/major decide to split and decide to join the opposition. That’s one lesson from October 7th.

        I understand your confusion, and the confusion of others people as well, I mean of course, someone doing the right thing for the people in Venezuela out the goodness of his heart………………………………………… No such thing.


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