sábado, 7 de diciembre de 2013

Venezuelans to vote in municipal polls, President urges unity

Venezuelans were to vote in municipal elections on 8 December, after months of political tensions and opposition hopes that voters would use the polls to punish the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro for its alleged incompetence and authoritarian tendencies. As the campaign closed Mr Maduro urged "reconciliation, union and peace" to strengthen the country, and said "we have to turn the page and the first people who must turn the page of conspiracy are those who bought shares in Venezuela's Right," presumably meaning supporters of the center-right opposition coalition, Europa Press reported. Was the "Right's plan peace," he asked. He said he would meet mayors of all tendencies on 10 December after the polls, whatever the results. The same agency and Venezuela's official AVN agency also cited the President as saying that  "you have to know how to win and how to lose, always fighting for ideas." It was not immediately clear where he was speaking. The leading Government opponent Henrique Capriles Radonsky urged Venezuelans to go out and "care for" every vote cast, as "the gangsters will try and deviate the will of electors," Europa Press reported on 7 December. He asked "all those who voted on 14 April" - in presidential elections the opposition has alleged were "stolen" by the Government - to vote, saying that all those staying home were effectively giving the elections to Maduro as a "gift," Europa Press reported. The President said on 6 December that its electoral system was "the best in the world," and anyone "trying to harm" the process could expect legal action.