The president of Venezuela has now been confirmed as Maduro after a close election battle. Protests by Capriles, and his party, were made but the National Electoral Council continued to defend Maduro’s narrow victory of 50.7%:49.1%.
Conflict broke out in the capital, Caracas, between protester and police declaring that the votes had been miscounted. Some students took to the streets to show their discontent, whilst others took to balconies and the streets hitting pots and pans in protest. The protests had been expected as Capriles had urged people to protest the results if Maduro won.
However, thousands of supporters also took to the street in support of Maduro’s win. Singing and dancing was seen and horns were heard. Maduro told his supporters that the result was “just, legal and constitutional” and that he looks forward to leading the country.
Here are some challenges currently Venezuela face:
Internal divisions: Society is deeply divided into those who see Chavez’s “Bolivarian revolution” as the solution to their problems and those who think it has been the country’s ruin.
Shortages: Everyday goods in short supply and power cuts common
Inflation: 25% inflation is threatening to stop all increases in the minimum wage.
Crime: One of the highest homicide and kidnapping rates and few crimes are punished.
Prisons: Overcrowding and poor conditions have caused a series of deadly prison riots. Many of those in jail have been awaiting trial for years.
Relations with the US: Have been tense over the past decades as President Chavez engaged in anti-US rhetoric.
These posts were about Hugo Chavez’s election as president, but he was unable to be sworn in due to illness and there were outcalls for his swearing in day to be postponed and nominate a temporary president. However, since then, Hugo Chavez has died and Venezuela is now preparing for a vote to elect a new president.
The current, acting president President Nicolas Maduro, who Chavez selected to be his successor, is challenging the governor of Miranda state (Henrique Capriles) for the position. Capriles had narrowly lost to Chavez in the election of October 2012. There are approximately 19 million registered voters in Venezuela for the upcoming election whose votes will be recorded electronically – one machine will confirm their identity and vote and another will identify their fingerprint.
There has already been significant tension between the two candidates. Capriles accused Chavez of breaking the rules of the election by continuing campaigning after the polls had opened and for visiting Chavez’s tomb which he stated was “violating all the electoral norms”.
The winner of the election is to be sworn in on the 19th April to complete Chavez’s six year term which began in January.
Who will win the election? And, what sort of president is Venezuela looking for?