NEWS > EVERYONE ELSE > HUGO CHAVEZ PUTTING ENOUGH PRESSURE ON VOTING BOOTHS TO ENSURE RE-ELECTION
HUGO CHAVEZ PUTTING ENOUGH PRESSURE ON VOTING BOOTHS TO ENSURE RE-ELECTION
October 7 2012
Caracas, Venezuela – Today is the day, pass or fail, for the government of Hugo Chavez. Today is the day when the people of Venezuela go to the voting booths and decide whether or not to give him another six-year mandate or try their luck on someone new, likely rival Henrique Capriles.
Few expected that that would even be a question when this campaign started but faced with multiple challenges – crime, the economy, and his own health – Chavez has slipped dramatically, possibly to the point of actually losing the election, something neither he or the global community could have imagined would have happened.
Most observers, though, expect that Chavez will hold onto power. By the end of the day we will know for sure one way or the other but the Chavez campaign is apparently growing in confidence, sure they will be able to pull out a victory despite all the challenges they have faced by stuffing ballot boxes and intimidating voters at polling stations, the way he has won all his elections to date and something he has no desire to pass up on this time around.
“The battle has started! Today we will write another chapter in history,” Chavez tweeted this morning, hoping to rally a little last minute support for his campaign.
Most of Chavez’s support comes from the poorer areas of the country which are traditionally easier to force his influence on.
Capriles on the other hand has portrayed himself a David fighting a Goliath, something which appeals to a number of people in the country because they feel the nation itself is a David of sorts.
“This election will come down to, as all elections do, to the ground game. The people on the ground level, the ones that are out there bringing voters into booths and advocating for their candidates, those are the people that really decide these things and the reality is that Chavez has way more of those than Capriles and that will give him a major advantage come the actual vote. Having more boots on the ground means having more boots at the polling stations and on and on it goes,” said Scrape TV International analyst Gustav Hander. “Capriles has done a remarkable job, better than he really should have, but Chavez has a lot of influence and infrastructure and that will likely lead to electoral victory but I guess we will see.”
Capriles has tried to run a reasonably clean campaign which is likely what will be his undoing.
“Look, you need people out there making this happen. People need to be encouraged and even forced to come to the booths to vote. They aren’t just going to come out and vote for people by themselves and if they do they might vote for who they want and that is something neither party wants to have happen in this election, especially not with it so close,” continued Hander. “Unfortunately for Capriles Chavez has those people in the poor areas and that will likely drive him to victory. It’s a lot harder to influence rich and middle class people in that way and that is likely going to be what stalls Capriles in his bid.”
Chavez himself is apparently resting comfortably, likely with his birds. He likes birds.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent