Venezuela Holds Regional Elections Sunday; Chávez Foe Wins Maracaibo

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Today in Latin America

Top StoryVenezuelans went to the polls Sunday to elect 11 mayors and two state governors, with an opposition candidate claiming the biggest prize by winning the mayorship of country’s second-largest city of Maracaibo.

Eveling Trejo, the wife of former Maracaibo Mayor Manuel Rosales, beat pro-Chávez candidate Gian Carlos Di Martino and several other opponents on Sunday, taking 58.6 percent of the counted votes. Trejo’s husband fled Venezuela last year after prosecutors brought corruption-related charges against him; Eveling Trejo is a relative newcomer to politics.

“I’m sure that from Lima, where he is, he should be happy and proud,” Trejo said, referring to her husband, according to The Associated Press.

The results were released late Sunday after officials cited that voting trends showed an irreversible outcome, but the final results are expected sometime Monday.

These regional elections are seen as a test of President Hugo Chávez’s popularity and come at a time when he is facing a number of domestic problems. Venezuela is in the midst of a recession, has double-digit inflation and widespread violent crime, all of which have made Venezuela into one of Latin America’s most dangerous countries.

Floods and landslides from recent torrential rains have left many dead and thousands more homeless, with the government promising to build more public housing and Chávez allowing some of those stranded to stay in the presidential palace.

Venezuela had more than 1.7 million registered voters eligible to participate in Sunday’s elections.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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