The challenge for Venezuela is to strengthen democracy, and for its new president, Nicolás Maduro, it is to overcome a potential recall referendum and to further the interests of his political supporters, Marcelo Serpa, of the Latin American Association of Election Campaign Researchers (ALICE), told IPS.
Nicolás Maduro was recognised as president-elect of Venezuela by a Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) emergency summit held in Lima to discuss the situation in the highly polarised country, where a narrow electoral result triggered social and political tension.
When the left was in opposition in Latin America, it never tired of repeating that true democracy was not limited to electing governments at the ballot box. Democracy was also needed in the distribution of rights and riches.
Noisy pot-banging protests broke out in Venezuela’s cities to demand a recount of the votes from Sunday’s presidential elections, which leftwing candidate Nicolás Maduro won. Several people have been killed in violent incidents.
The political polarisation in Venezuela became even more marked as the country emerged from Sunday’s elections basically divided in half, between two sectors that are antagonistic and reluctant to try to understand each other.
Venezuelans will cast their ballots this Sunday to elect a successor to late president Hugo Chávez. The choice is between his political heir Nicolás Maduro – the front-runner in the polls - and the leader of the revitalised opposition, Henrique Capriles.