Wie beslist de verkiezingen in Venezuela?

PRAAG – De campagne voor de presidentsverkiezingen in Venezuela is in volle gang. De kiezers gaan op 7 oktober naar de stembus om hun staatshoofd te kiezen. In de campagne staat Henrique Capriles Radonski, de gouverneur van de deelstaat Miranda, tegenover de zittende president, Hugo Chávez, die sinds 1999 aan de macht is.

Wat deze verkiezingen volgens ons uniek maakt is dat Chávez, die een nog niet eerder voorgekomen vierde opeenvolgende termijn als president ambieert, voor het eerst wordt geconfronteerd met een geloofwaardige uitdager in de persoon van Capriles, die erin is geslaagd uiteenlopende oppositiepartijen onder zijn banier te verenigen. Een paar recente peilingen geven Chávez in feite slechts iets meer dan drie procentpunten voorsprong op Capriles. Dat is zeker goed nieuws voor de jonge Venezolaanse democratie en doet de hoop toenemen op een echte democratische krachtmeting.

Toch denken we dat het nodig is onze zorgen te uiten over de precaire stand van zaken in Venezuela aan de vooravond van de verkiezingen. De situatie in het land wordt getekend door een hoge mate van onzekerheid, omdat niemand weet hoe ver Chávez bereid is te gaan om zijn greep op de macht te behouden.

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