Politics of Venezuela

Politics of Venezuela

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The politics of Venezuela occurs in a framework explained in Government of Venezuela.

There are currently two major blocs of political parties in Venezuela: the incumbent leftist bloc United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), its major allies Fatherland for All (PPT) and the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), and the opposition bloc led by A New Era (UNT) together with its allied parties Project Venezuela, Justice First, Movement for Socialism (Venezuela) and others. Following the fall of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958, Venezuelan politics was dominated by the third-way Christian democratic COPEI and the center-left social democratic Democratic Action (AD) parties; this two-party system was formalized by the puntofijismo arrangement. However, this system has been sidelined following the initial 1998 election of current president Hugo Chávez, which started the Bolivarian Revolution.

Chavez has also established alliances[clarification needed] with several Latin American countries which have elected leftist governments, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Paraguay. Evident in the strong ties it shares with Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua in the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas .



The Marcos Pérez Jiménez government fell in 23 January 1958, ending the last dictatorship of the 20th century in Venezuela and spawning a democratic period. The country adopted a new constitution in 1961. Two political parties prevailed during the following decades: the social democratic Democratic Action (AD) and the Christian democratic COPEI during the period known as the fourth republic. This system came to an end during the 1998 election when current president Hugo Chávez won thus beginning the fifth Republic and the left-wing Bolivarian Revolution.

Most of the political opposition boycotted the 2005 parliamentary election. Consequently, the MVR-led bloc secured all 167 seats in the National Assembly. Then, the MVR voted to dissolve itself in favor of joining the proposed United Socialist Party of Venezuela, while Chávez requested that MVR-allied parties merge themselves into it as well. The National Assembly has twice voted to grant Chávez the ability rule by decree in several broadly defined areas, once in 2000 and again in 2007. This power has been granted to previous administrations as well.[1][2][3]

In 2008, the government expelled the US-based Human Rights Watch,[4] which was criticizing the government Human rights record.

There is a history of tension between church and state in the country. The Catholic Church has accused Chavez of concentrating power in his own hands. In its 2009 Easter address to the nation, the bishops said the country's democracy was in "serious danger of collapse."[5]

In 2009, when an opposition mayor was elected in Caracas, the capital, the government gave control of his budget to an appointed official.[6]


Venezuela abolished the death penalty in 1863, making it the country where this practice has been outlawed the longest.[7][8]


1998 presidential election

Hugo Chávez Frias was first elected Venezuelan president in 1998. He took office 2 February 1999.

e • d Summary of the December 6, 1998 presidential election results
Candidates - parties Votes %
Hugo Chávez - Fifth Republic Movement 3,673,685 56.20
Henrique Salas Römer - Project Venezuela 2,613,161 39.97
Irene Sáez - IRENE 184,568 2.82
Luis Alfaro Ucero - ORA 27,586 0.42
Others 38,304 0.59
Total (turnout 54.0%) 6,537,304 100.00
Source:[citation needed]

2006 presidential election

With 32,472 electoral tally sheets processed (98.29%), the 12 December 2006 partial report from the CNE showed the following results:

e • d Venezuelan presidential election, 2006
Candidates Votes %
Hugo Chávez (Fifth Republic Movement) 7,309,080 62.84%
Manuel Rosales (A New Era) 4,292,466 36.9%
Luis Reyes 4,807 0.04%
Venezuela Da Silva 3,980 0.03%
Carmelo Romano Pérez 3,735 0.03%
Alejandro Suárez 2,956 0.02%
Eudes Vera 2,806 0.02%
Carolina Contreras 2,169 0.01%
Pedro Aranguren 2,064 0.01%
José Tineo 1,502 0.01%
Yudith Salazar 1,355 0.01%
Ángel Yrigoyen 1,316 0.01%
Homer Rodríguez 1,123 0%
Isbelia León 793 0%
Total (Turnout 74.69 %) 11,790,397 100.0
Source: CNE:[9] null votes: 160,245 (1.35% of all votes)

Turnout: 11,729,158 voters (74.75% of the registered to vote), null votes: 159,377 (1.35% of all votes).

Source: CNE[10]

2005 parliamentary election

The elections for the National Assembly elections were last held on 4 December 2005.

The majority of anti-Chavez parties boycotted the election. The parties gaining more than two seats were (parties not listed gained a total of 10 seats, see Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2005):

e • d National Assembly of Venezuela election results
Parties Votes for List % Seats (From list and nominal)
Fifth Republic Movement (Movimiento V [Quinta] República) 2,041,293 60.0 116
For Social Democracy (Por la Democracia Social) 277,482 8.2 18
Fatherland for All (Patria para Todos) 197,459 6.8 10
Communist Party of Venezuela (Partido Comunista de Venezuela) 94,606 2.7 7
Registered Voters 14,272,964 -
Votes Cast (% of registered voters) 3,604,741 25.26
Valid Votes (% of votes cast) 3,398,567 94.28
Invalid Votes (% of votes cast) 206,174 5.72
Abstention (% of registered voters) 10,668,223 74.74
Source regarding number of votes CNE site and seats from National Assembly's one.

2008 regional elections

On 23 November 2008 the ruling political party, PSUV, won the elections in 18 out of the 23 states and over 80% of the municipalities, including the Libertador Municipality of Caracas. The opposition block gained five states alongside the Metropolitan District of Caracas.

2009 Electoral Referendum

On 15 February 2009 a referendum lifting term limits for the President, governors, mayors and deputies was approved by 55% of the electorate in which the 70% of registered voters participated.[11]


  1. ^ "Historia de Venezuela en Imágenes. Capítulo VIII 1973 /1983. La Gran Venezuela". La experiencia democrática 1958 / 1998. Fundación Polar. http://www.fpolar.org.ve/Encarte/fasciculo24/fasc2402.html. Retrieved 21 January 2007. (Spanish)
  2. ^ "El tema: Historia democrática venezolana". Globovisión. 28 November 2006. http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid=43974. Retrieved 21 January 2007. (Spanish)
  3. ^ "Ramón José Velásquez Mújica". Centro de Investigación de Relaciones Internacionales y desarrollo. 21 September 2006. http://www.cidob.org/es/documentacion/biografias_lideres_politicos/america_del_sur/venezuela/ramon_jose_velasquez_mujica. Retrieved 21 January 2007. (Spanish)
  4. ^ Reuters News retrieved 22 September 2009
  5. ^ The Tablet, "Bishop faces down threats from ruling party." 25 April 2009, page 38
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Amnesty International USA. Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries. Retrieved 19 August 2006
  8. ^ The Death Penalty Worldwide. InfoPlease. Retrieved 19 August 2006.
  9. ^ "Elección presidencial". CNE. 2007. http://www.cne.gob.ve/divulgacionPresidencial/resultado_nacional.php. Retrieved 2007-10-14. (Spanish)
  10. ^ "Resultados Electorales". Consejo Nacional Electoral. 4 December 2006. http://www.cne.gov.ve/divulgacionPresidencial/resultado_nacional.php. Retrieved 4 December 2006. 
  11. ^ "Chavez wins chance of fresh term". BBC News. 16 February 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7891856.stm. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 

See also

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