Venezuela in flux after close election

There was no clear winner in yesterday’s Venezuelan election. Not surprisingly acting President Nicolas Maduro has claimed victory and, on one hand, appears to have every right to do so as the votes indicate he beat his  opponent Henrique Capriles by some 235,000 votes. (51.7% to 49.1%). However things may not be all that rosy in the Maduro camp.

Allegations of voter fraud were rampant  during the voting and continue today. According to the The Telegraph, these allegations run the gamut from  gunshots being fired at polling stations to the illegal reopening of voting centres after they had officially closed. In his reaction to the result Capriles vowed to get to the bottom of things and demanded a recount.

“I didn’t fight against a candidate today, but against the whole abuse of power,” he said, demanding a recount.

“Mr Maduro, the loser was you … This system is collapsing, it’s like a castle of sand – touch it and it falls.”

In response Maduro has said he is willing to open all the ballot boxes in Venezuela and recount all the votes, such is his confidence in his victory.

But even if there is a recount, and it is found that Madoro’s victory, slim as it is, is legitimate, he still faces a very divided country and many feel he doesn’t have the ability to lead that Chavez had. He can´t continue to visit the tomb of the late president and hope that will suffice and enable him to govern. This may pull the heartstrings of some, but according to Hugo Santaromita, a political commentator who has worked for the chavist government in the past

“I do not believe Mr. Maduro will be able to stay in power for very long. He has been placed on the forefront by the party apparatus, and does not have the personality or the authority to control the government. He will be unable to fix the problems of the economy.”

So it looks as though the future is even less clear today than it was prior to the election, but one thing is unfortunately evident  there is a very rocky road ahead for Venezuelans.

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