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Polls say Chavez’s return to Venezuela boosts Socialist’s election chances

Posted By AIM Newswire On February 20, 2013 @ 7:00 am In AIM Newswire | No Comments

CARACAS — In one of the grimmest news to come out of South America, initial polls have indicated that if current Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has to resign, his Socialist Party will win the presidential election.

Henrique Capriles [1]By law, if a president has to resign for any reason, an emergency election must be held within 30 days for the presidency. This initially gave hope to the Venezuelan opposition to grab the executive office while Chavez was recovering in Cuba.

But, with Chavez’s surprising return to Venezuela, this has boosted his handpicked successor Nicolas Maduro’s chances of winning a potential emergency presidential election. According to the polling agency Hinterlaces, Maduro would win the election 50-36% over Capriles, something that Capriles does not agree with.

Capriles, the 40-year-old opposition leader and current government of the Miranda province, said that Hinterlaces is doing Chavez and his Socialist Party’s bidding in releasing flawed polling numbers. Hinterlaces, said Capriles, predicted that he would lose his provincial governorship to the Socialist Party candidate Elias Jaua (who is now Chavez’s foreign minister). Obviously, Jaua lost to Capriles.

Maduro’s chances were given a significant boost when Chavez had made him the heir apparent to the presidency, whether or not that was legal, and has tried to echo Chavez’s famous charisma with the poor. But, he fails in the charisma department yet tries to make as many public appearances on television and in public as possible.

As of now, Venezuela’s economy is flagging and struggling under socialist policies and redistribution of wealth. The rampant social welfare spending has put the government infrastructure under serious strain, though it has led to significant votes going to the Socialist Party. Foreign investors are wary of putting money in Venezuela because it has seized foreign assets in the past.

Will Venezuelans, given the chance with an emergency presidential election, reject the failing Socialist policies? Or will they continue South America’s march toward socialism?

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