The Worst-case Scenario

Your daily briefing for Monday, October 16, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Breaking the typical suspense after any election, at 10:00 p.m. last night National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena, together with the four main rectores, announced the results in 22 out of 23 governorships, claiming that with 95.8% of votes tallied, trends were irreversible except in Bolívar state.

There was 61.14% turnout and according to CNE, PSUV won 17 governorships:

Amazonas: Miguel Rodríguez 59,85% – Bernabé Guitérrez
Apure: Ramón Carrizales 51.92% – José Montilla 31.59%
Aragua: Rodolfo Marco Torres 56.83% – Ismael García 39.6%
Barinas: Argenis Chávez 52.78% – Freddy Superlano 34.45%
Carabobo: Rafael Lacava 51.96% – Alejandro Feo La Cruz 46.41%
Cojedes: Margaud Godoy 55.48% – Alberto Galíndez 42.91%
Delta Amacuro: Lizeta Hernández 58.68% – Larissa González 39.5%
Falcón: Víctor Clark 51.86% Eleizer Ciric 44.4%
Guárico: José Vásquez 61.68% – Pedro Loreto 37.38%
Lara: Carmen Meléndez 67.65% – Henri Falcón 40.93%
Miranda: Héctor Rodríguez 52.54% – Carlos Ocariz 45.92%
Monagas: Yelitze Santaella 53.94% – Guillermo Call 43.97%
Portuguesa: Rafael Calle 64.24% – María Beatriz Martínez 43.2%
Sucre: Edwin Rojas 69.9% – Robert Alcalá 39.67%
Trujillo: Henry Rangel Silva – Carlos González
Yaracuy: Julio León Heredia 61.88% – Luis Parra 35.81%
Vargas: Jorge Luis García Carneiro 52.35% – José Manuel Olivares 46.22%

While the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won 5:

Anzoátegui: Antonio Barreto Sira 5 2.01% – Aristóbulo Isturiz 46.76%
Mérida: Ramón Guevara 61.05% – Geison Guzmán 46.03%
Nueva Esparta: Alfredo Díaz 51.81% – Carlos Mata Figueroa
Táchira: Laidy Gómez 73% – José Vielma Mora 35.38%
Zulia: Juan Pablo Guanipa 61.6% – Francisco Arias Cárdenas 47.13%

Lucena didn’t mention that CNE obviously breached protocol by not formally announcing the closure of polling stations by 6:00 p.m. or any kind of time extension.

Today, CNE should send political parties the results in each table and voting station.

By the way, three of the newly-elected PSUV governors are affected by U.S. and Canada sanctions: Rodolfo Marco Torres, Carmen Meléndez and Henry Rangel Silva.

As for Miranda, chavismo wouldn’t have won there, even back when el finado was alive.

Nicolás’ reaction

After final results had been announced, Nicolás boasted that PSUV won 17 governorships even though they’re responsible for infamous records of inflation, scarcity, crime and corruption. Amidst the worst crisis in the country’s history, Nicolás congratulated those who “took to the streets to tell the world that there’s peace in Venezuela,” calling his party’s triumph an “overwhelming victory” and emphasizing that chavismo surpassed the opposition in the national vote by nine points. He offered his pledge to the five elected opposition governors to collaborate with them, only to warn seconds later that anyone who crosses the line will suffer a relentless justice. Lastly, he asked the ANC to perform a full audit, because “perhaps we might recover those five governorships they won.”

“We don’t accept CNE’s results”

Ten minutes before midnight, MUD campaign chief Gerardo Blyde said that the opposition alliance doesn’t accept the CNE’s gubernatorial election results: “Not even the government itself can understand these results,” he said, restating that before the CNE’s announcement, they had warned the country about these results that don’t match MUD figures. “They know they’re not the majority, we won’t accept these results,” said Blyde, adding that neither Venezuela nor the world “could believe this lie.” He requested all regional commands to verify the results – even where the opposition won – and also asked for verification of the entire ballot system, machines, etc., because this system provides no guarantees and “we have to fight to change this electoral system.”

Blyde explained they made this attempt (of going to elections) with the conviction of being democrats, that they must unify their policies and opinions, so he called on leaders outside MUD to offer up a common strategy to confront the regime.

Lastly, MUD called on all candidates to set up street protests demanding inspections.

For some reason, pollsters got the turnout right, but not the results. It’s still inexplicable for many (both statistically and logistically) how chavismo won 17 governorships with 61% turnout, recovering 600,000 votes compared to what they got in parliamentary elections back in 2015, while the opposition lost 2,300,000 votes. Respecting the CNE’s figure, PSUV got 9% more votes than the opposition, with 6,600,000, the opposite result predicted by pollsters, political analyses and the logic of a country ruined by a government that is now emerging victorious.

While the majority of Venezuelans showed yesterday that we still believe in elections as a constitutional and peaceful way to solve this crisis, PSUV and all its subservient institutions blocked that possibility.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.