Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Widodo poised to become Indonesian president

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

Americas

Venezuela's opposition falls short in lunge for new seats

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-09

Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro held key cities in Venezuela’s mayoral elections on Sunday but failed to deliver the crushing victory they had sought to try to undermine the hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela’s opposition retained its grip on the country’s two largest cities in municipal elections on Sunday, but President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government maintained the upper hand across the country despite deepening economic woes and growing discontent.

With results in from 75% of the nation’s 337 mayoral races, the ruling party and allies had claimed a combined 49.2 percent of votes, compared with the opposition coalition and its partners’ 42.7 support, according to election authorities.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles had called on the local ballots to be a referendum on the goverment's overall record and some of his allies had predicted a symbolic defeat of “Chavismo” under Maduro, who came to power in April.

“I did everything humanly possible,” a visibly tired Capriles told reporters after the results were unveiled. “Remember that Venezuela does not have a single owner. A divided country needs dialogue.”

The Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA), a think tank, said the elections gave Maduro some much-needed impetus.

“Compared to where [Maduro] was two months ago, with a government in a tail spin, he now looks like he is in control, having gotten past a major hurdle. The opposition clearly did not get the big plebiscite win that it sought,” the group said on its website.

‘Sale’ on plasma TVs

In a triumphant speech late Sunday, Maduro dedicated his victory to the late President Hugo Chavez and promised more measures to protect the poor, including a drive to keep food prices low.

Maduro, 51, has faced compounding economic problems, including slowing growth, record-high inflation and shortages of food staples and basic goods.

But an aggressive campaign launched last month to force businesses to slash prices proved popular with consumers, especially the poor, and is credited with having helped Maduro’s candidates on Sunday.

Among the most popular measures was the seizure of dozens of retailers and the slashing of prices on plasma TVs, refrigerators and other appliances.

“Maduro has gained some breathing room but 2014 is guaranteed to be a difficult year,” WOLA warned. “There are still very fundamental economic problems. The measures that Maduro rode to this electoral victory are short term and will likely worsen the economy in the medium term.”

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters, AP)

Date created : 2013-12-09

  • VENEZUELA

    US expels Venezuela diplomats in tit-for-tat row

    Read more

  • VENEZUELA

    'Yankees go home,' Venezuela tells US diplomats

    Read more

  • VENEZUELA - FRANCE

    Venezuela arrests Air France manager in cocaine bust

    Read more

COMMENT(S)