Zaperoco brewing in Bolívar (Updated)

imagefromurlThe election in Bolívar State ended up closer than expected. Late Sunday night, incumbent Chavista governor Francisco Rangel Gómez was declared winner by a narrow margin. The latest results give him a three-point gap over former Governor Andrés Velásquez, backed by the MUD.

Velásquez has challenged the results and his supporters are protesting since yesterday in front of the State’s Electoral Board. The MUD says the data they have changes the outcome.

As I wrote in my earlier post, the PCV candidate Manuel Arciniegas was influential in the final result by taking 30.000 votes. Seven minor candidates took almost 6.000 votes combined. The gap between Rangel Gómez and Velásquez is of 10.000 votes.

Rangel Gómez was officially certified today as re-elected Governor, with plenty of military presence in the state’s capital. Henrique Capriles and Antonio Ledezma have travelled to Bolivar to support Velásquez. The story is still unfolding, so stay tuned.

UPDATE # 1: TalCual reports that the core of Velásquez’s claims are 126 voting station reports which allegedly have not been included by the CNE in their final count.

UPDATE # 2: PCV’s candidate Manuel Arciniegas has doubts about the results (including his own), in an interview he gave to local newspaper Correo del Caroní:

“We have serious observations about the result. For us, what it shows a close political parity between Velásquez and Rangel, and Rangel winning, it’s not true…”

“I have more votes that those I’ve been assigned and that situation with Velásquez and Rangel doesn’t match reality. The way results were announced (by the CNE), given the strategic importance of the state, was disrespectful. Said last, in two times and inside an enviroment of confusion…”