The power of President Nicolas Maduro, whose re-election to the presidency of Venezuela in 2018 is not recognized by part of the international community, has won a landslide victory in the regional elections on Sunday, November 21, according to the Council’s official announcement. national electoral system (CNE).
The power has won 20 of the 23 governor posts and the mayoralty of Caracas in the face of a divided opposition which participated for the first time in a poll since 2017 after having boycotted the presidential and legislative elections.
The European Union had deployed an electoral mission, the first for fifteen years in this oil country of 30 million inhabitants affected by a serious economic crisis. The mission will report on Tuesday.
A suspicious late closing of the offices
The turnout was 41.8% with 8.1 million voters, according to provisional official results with 90.21% of the votes counted. The opposition won three states: the island of Nueva Esparta, Cojedes and especially Zulia, the most populous oil state in the country whose capital is Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second largest city.
“Beautiful triumph, beautiful victory, beautiful harvest, product of work”, immediately exulted President Maduro, speaking of “Overwhelming results”.
Before the announcement of the results, the opponent Henrique Capriles, twice second in the presidential election, had expressed reservations considering that the late closing of the polling stations was a source of possible fraud: “Maduro and his party order the CNE not to close the offices when there are no more voters (…) They will give us votes that do not exist”, he wrote on Twitter.
More than the result, the ballot is considered important because it constitutes a starting point both for the government, which seeks to lift the sanctions that weigh on the country, and for an opposition in search of reconstruction before the presidential election of 2024.