Breaking: Legislative Elections called for December 6

Tibi - 1In an ill-humored, defensive speech, brimming with reproaches against her critics, CNE-head Tibisay Lucena called Legislative Elections for December 6th.

The speech was a remarkable piece of wounded-ego venting: a long lament about academics who’ve criticized her, GOP voter suppression, and an undending hyper-whiney, etc.

Que mujer tan profundamente acomplejada. 

But in the end, all anyone will remember from it is the date.

My insta-analysis: This morning, I thought there was a 25% chance elections would actually be held this year. Setting an actual date, though, clearly raises the costs to the government of postponing a vote. I still think there’s a good chance Maduro will find a pretext to stave off impending doom. Nonetheless, the chances of a vote being held obviously just went up substantially – to 55%, maybe?

One way or another, given the fundamentals (out-of-control shortages, inflation and crime, on top of a president nobody likes), if they do hold these elections, the chances are very high the government will lose them. Badly. Incumbents just don’t win mid-terms with inflation at 130%+. If they do in Venezuela, that’ll be the first time that’s happened, anywhere, ever.

Now Leopoldo López can eat again, thank God.

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that December 6th will be the seventeenth anniversary of Hugo Chávez’s first election. PSUV will surely try to use this to their advantage.

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