Thursday, December 10, 2015

The 2015 results: chavismo worst losses

Considering how upset chavismo is and how discombobulated Maduro and Cabello are I thought that I would start the result analysis by selecting some of chavimso worst results, losses that are truly troubling for the future of chavismo as a national movement. Namely Omar Prieto in Zulia, the Aragua case and Parequeima in Anzoategui.

Omar Prieto, the Zulia future power that went back to save his town-hall

Omar Prieto was, in my opinion, one of the worst creatures that chavismo has begotten. He managed somehow to get hold of the Southern area of Maracaibo, San Francisco, which normally would go opposition, albeit by narrow margins. From there he managed sabotage campaigns against former governor Perez, and was even promoted against current governor Arias by the more radical wings of chavismo. In short until last Sunday he was the potential future owner of Zulia, in the mold of Cabello like roughness. It also appealed that his tall, mestizo, forceful demeanor was in tune with the racist chavista new man. Thus Prieto was the top ticket of chavismo for Zulia.

Well, all of this changed Sunday, to the point that Prieto decided to give up his freshly gained National Assembly seat to remain San Francisco mayor.

The numbers are without possible appeal.

I would like to point out that there were 12% more voters participating this time around, which makes the result in actual votes above much worse than what they look for our boy Omar. Thus what cynically Prieto is doing is staying at San Francisco where he is the top cacique rather than being an obscure to irrelevant politico at the new National Assembly...  But we also must admit to the political necessity to preserve Zulia's second biggest town-hall in the hands of chavismo because his departure would provoke a new mayoral election that chavismo would surely lose. (Note: his state wide list got ONLY 36.3% !!!; and thus his governor run next year is right now doubtful).

Aragua, "the birth state of the revolution" is a landslide for the opposition

This one gotta hurt a lot.

Aragua has been perhaps the most consistent supporter of chavismo. This time around chavismo only managed one spot in the Aragua state wide list. All the other seats, even the gerrymandered ones, went opposition, sometimes with surprising margins. 8 out 9 seats for the MUD.

From this we can see that the collapse of chavista vote is due in equal parts to abstention and crossing over, amplifying a movement that has been going on haphazardly since 2012 (Capriles was already only 80K behind Maduro in 2013).

Many explanations here. Maneuvers to destroy popular opposition leaders like Richard Mardo backfired. The imposition of Chavez last interior minister, Tarek el-Aissami turned out to be a poor choice for governor as he not only never managed to pass for an aragueño, but was also internationally associated as a drug cartel head. Never mind the abuses he comitted on anyone opposing him, be it oppo or chavo. No matter what monuments to the revolution our boy Tarek kept dotting the Aragua landscape, in the end it was the impossibility of Polar plants in Aragua to supply the locals that carried the day for the MUD.

The end of a cacique power

In Southern Anzoategui state there is a "traditional" family power shared from father to son. The name is even cacique sounding, Paraquiema. But they are equally lambucios, waiting for the best deal, no loyalty whatsoever.

They joined chavismo early but when they did not get what they wanted they went opposition in 2010 and got elected under the MUD/PODEMOS label. If I remember well there was even an assault to a town hall or something of major street trouble in El Tigre. Unfortunately the opposition did not give the governor candidacy nod to his son so Paraquiema went back to chavismo and helped it vote damaging laws even though he was elected by an opposition majority. A perverse double agent if ever.

Paraqueima got defeated this time but he did not do as bad as the cases above. Then again he is the type of local power that is followed by a group of people no matter what. Cacique style. Let's hope that this time around the primitiveness of certain portions of the electorate will be done with. At least Paraqueima dynasty has been given a real blow, if not necessarily lethal. One thing it shows chavismo is that sometimes its strength is subjected to not very loyal whims, which in the end hut more than help.


These three examples will convey, I hope, why chavismo is so nervous these days. The results are not just a matter of discontent with the long lines dues to food scarcity. There is also discontent with the leadership imposed from Caracas, or self imposed through rough means. The damage done in these three districts is real and it goes beyond just a mere clientele provisional disaffection. Long term, in other words.

No matter some in chavismo would like to be done with the electoral system altogether....

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