The exit polls in the Venezuelan election showed a victory for Mr. Capriles of around 4-5 percent, and in the Province of Carabobo of 13-15 percent. The election showed a historically high turnout of 80% of the nearly 19 million registered voters, in a country where voting is not mandatory.
However, when the Central Election Committee (CEC) presented its result it gave Mr. Chavez 54.42 percent and Mr. Capriles 44.97. This result was published by the CEC before they had received the acts.
It is hard to say anything about the conduct of the election process, since very few election observers were omitted accreditation and those that were mainly represented the Union of South American Nations. Only about twenty persons out of those invited by the opposition were accredited as election observers.
Mr. Capriles has accepted the result. He delivered a speech after the results were announced. He thanked all his followers, he thanked all those who have faith in him and he thanked all those who have been working in building this new path. With metaphors such as planting seeds, building a house or a path that will lead to a new Venezuela, he told his followers not to feel defeated but to feel proud.
He said that he will continue to serve the Venezuelans and bringing them hope wherever he is. He is not going to leave alone the more than 6 million Venezuelans that believe in him, and he will serve also those who voted for the other option, but avoided mentioning Mr. Chavez in his speech. He said that he is a democrat and he is not going to play with the hopes of the people, he said the other option obtained more votes and this is how democracy works. He recognizes and respects the will of the people, for him this is sacred.
Again without mentioning Mr. Chavez, Mr. Capriles declared that he hopes that the Government after 14 years will now assume and understand that almost half of the country does not agree with it.
He referred again to the turn out of the election and he said that the people were deciding between two options. He said that the same way he respects those voting for the Government, the Government should also respect those voting for him.
Political observers coincide that the main advantage of Mr. Chavez in the electoral process lies on the abuse of power of the television space and in the diversion of resources to finance campaign activities, despise the law that prohibits political parties to receive public funds. Last Monday a Government mandatory radio and television station interrupted a program of the private channel Globovision in which Mr. Capriles appeared.
The latent threat of an electoral fraud has been considered by different groups. One of the main conspiracy theories has been made by the political analyst Carlos Alberto Montaner when affirming that the Venezuelan electoral register is inflated with two million presumptive voters, that, if needed, “will vote” for Mr. Chavez.
In the social media we have examples or irregularities mentioned: people informed about threats addressed to members of a voting table made by armed persons; somebody indicated that a group of “Chinese unable to speak Spanish” appeared at the last minute at a voting poll in Sagrado Corazón, Valencia. One person has indicated that Mr. Capriles web sites had been hacked.
Updated October 8, 2012
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