CARACAS, Tuesday December 18, 2012 | Update

Venezuela's opposition governors find legislative obstacles in their way

The opposition won both the governor's office and the Legislative Council in Amazonas state only

How come Capriles Radonski did not win the Legislative Council of the state if he obtained 52% of the votes? (Photo: W. Obregon)
Tuesday December 18, 2012  11:15 AM
In the wake of the gubernatorial election held in Venezuela on December 16, reelected opposition governors Henrique Capriles Radonski (Miranda state) and Henry Falcón (Lara state) will lead their regions with opposition inside the legislative councils (CLE) as they lost their majority in the parliaments of their states.

How come Capriles Radonski did not win the CLE if he obtained 52% of the votes? Was there crossover voting between governors and the legislative council? Miranda's CLE consist of 15 deputies (12 nominal deputies and three elected by list). Ahead of December 16 vote, the National Electoral Council (CNE) divided Miranda State in eight electoral districts (where 12 nominal legislators of the CLE would be elected).

Opposition parties obtained the majority of the votes in the second electoral district (Los Salias and Carrizal municipalities), where a nominal legislator is elected; in the third electoral district (municipalities of El Hatillo, Baruta, Chacao, and parish Leoncio Martínez, of Sucre municipality), where two nominal legislators are chosen; and in the fourth electoral district (parishes La Dolorita, and Petare, municipality of Sucre, both of which chose two nominal legislators. In these three electoral districts, the opposition obtained five nominal legislators, which must be accompanied by two (out of three) legislators elected by list. They are elected through the D'Hondt method.

Consequently, while the opposition obtained seven out of 15 deputies, the ruling party obtained eight, after winning electoral districts 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8, in addition to one out of the three legislators elected by list.

The situation is similar to that of Henry Falcón, who obtained some 54.66% of the votes, yet since the state was divided into eight electoral districts, pro-Chávez candidates ended up obtaining the majority of the nominal legislators of the state.

Only in the case of Amazonas state, the elected governor will be relying on a majority in the regional parliament. Although the results for the constituency 2 have not been announced yet, the opposition has already secured four out of seven members in the CLE.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
The rock of discord

A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.

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