Monday, January 17

Victory for the opposition at Chávez’s home ground

Arreaza, a former son-in-law of Chávez, wrote on Twitter that according to the information he has received, it appears “that we did not succeed”.

The electoral authority CNE has not announced the election results, but the loss will be a significant defeat for President Nicolas Maduro’s government in the chavismo bastion Barinas.

It is relatively unknown Sergio Garrido who has won for the opposition.

Opposition candidate Sergio Garrido becomes new governor of the state of Barinas in Venezuela, the home state of Hugo Chavez and a stronghold of his socialist movement Photo: Matias Delacroix / AP / NTB

In November, Freddy Superlano was elected by the opposition, but after five weeks of campaigning, he was disqualified during the counting of votes. Then he led by a little less than a percentage point against Argenis Chávez, brother of Hugo, who ran for re-election. He resigned as governor afterwards, and Arreaza was elected as the ruling party’s candidate.

This was the first gubernatorial election in more than two decades in the state without anyone from the Chávez family running. Superlano’s disqualification led to several questions about the independence of the Venezuelan electoral system, after what was the first election in many years in which most parties nominated candidates.

The state has long been dominated by the chavismo movement. In addition to Argenis Chávez, his brother Adán Chávez and father Hugo de los Reyes Chávez have all been governors since 1998.

But the brilliance of the late president, who founded the socialist movement that dominates Venezuela, turned out to have faded, both in November and on Sunday. After the first election, residents said that many in Barinas are angry that for many years they have struggled with fuel shortages, failures in basic services such as water and electricity, a shaky health care system and food shortages.

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