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Student Union's Election: A reflection of the electoral climate in Venezuela

Point of View By Veneconomy

Movimiento Autonomía e Integración, which sympathizes with the government, won the student union federation (Federación de Centros Universitarios) elections at the Universidad Central de Venezuela with more than five thousand votes. Unidad 77, which has ties with Bandera Roja and is supported by AD, Copei, MAS, and Primero Justicia, came in second with more than four thousand votes, and Movimiento Autónomo de Base 25, an independent movement but one that has ties with MAS and AD, came in third with nearly two thousand votes.

This situation should alert the political coordinators of those opposing the Chávez administration, as it could be a forerunner of what will happen in the country. The student group sympathizing with the government managed to win owing to the high level of abstention – a turnout of only 11,000 of a total of 43,000 voters- and because the opponents did not join together to fight the elections on a single slate.

It is quite common for there to be more than two slates at university elections, but in a country openly divided into two extremes, the opposition is hardly in a position to go to elections of any kind in two or more blocs.

The results at the UCV are a preview of what the outcome of the presidential elections next year could be, if the Democratic Coordinator does not run with a single candidate to oppose Chavismo. What is more, in VenEconomy’s opinion, the candidate for the imminent presidential elections should be chosen by the people, in other words, the people should decide who is to be the sole candidate in an open, transparent process, a two-round primary for example.

An opposition that is divided or that goes with candidates representing the old political elites will inevitably fail in its objective, that of achieving a transition that will clear the way for a new model of government.


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