Henrique Capriles wins opposition primaries in Venezuela
Teresa Albanes, the head of the Electoral Committee of opposition umbrella group Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), on Sunday announced that Henrique Capriles Radonski is the candidate who will face Hugo Chávez in the presidential election next October 7. With 95% of the votes counted, voters' turnout was 2,904,710 people
Venezuela's opposition on Sunday elected Henrique Capriles Randoski as their presidential candidate. Capriles, who won 1,806,860 out of the 2,904,710 ballots counted, will face President Hugo Chávez in the presidential elections to be held on October 7.
The announcement was made by Teresa Albanes, the head of the Electoral Committee of the opposition umbrella group Unified Democratic Panel (MUD). She congratulated the Venezuelan people for their substantial participation in the primaries.
"This was an exemplary election in terms of the behavior of the candidates for president, governors and mayors, but especially the exemplary behavior of Venezuelan citizens who patiently waited for hours to exercise their right to vote," said Albanes.
She added that, with 95% of the votes counted, "the results are as follows: Henrique Capriles, 1,806,860 votes; Pablo Pérez, 867,601 votes; María Corina Machado, 103,500 votes; Diego Arria, 35,070 votes and Pablo Medina, 14,009 votes."
Albanes said that on February 13, the Electoral Committee will announce 100% of the votes cast and the results of the candidacies for governors and mayors. "We are still processing the data."
"Congratulations to Venezuela," said Albanes.
Capriles was born in Caracas on July 11, 1972. He is a founding member and leader of opposition Primero Justicia (Justice First) party. He is currently the governor of Miranda state for the period 2008-2012.
He was mayor of Baruta Municipality, east Caracas, for two consecutive terms, in 2000-2008. He was vice-president of the late Congress of the Republic of Venezuela and President of the Chamber of Deputies between 1999 and 2000.
In the primaries, he was the candidate of opposition parties Primero Justicia (PJ - Justice First), Patria Para Todos (PPT - Fatherland for All), Proyecto Venezuela (Prove - Project Venezuela) and Voluntad Popular (VP - People's Will).
On Sunday, Capriles became the opposition candidate who will face Hugo Chávez (ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela - PSUV) in the presidential vote on October 7.
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.