Elections in Venezuela

May 29, 2018 Weekly Graphs

Venezuelans went to the polls on May 20. The country’s president Nicolás Maduro has been desperately trying to cling on to power as his country continues to experience its economic crisis. He has arrested opposition leaders who have been critical of him in a bid to suppress dissent following a vote that gave him large authoritarian powers. In March last year, the Supreme Court seized power from the opposition led legislature. This move has weakened the country’s separation of powers and has brought Venezuela to one-man rule under the president. 

This week’s graph looks at the autonomy of opposition parties in Venezuela. V-Dem’s indicator on opposition party autonomy looks at the opposition’s ability to remain independent and autonomous of the ruling regime. Democratization from a coup in 1958 brought about an increase in the opposition party autonomy. However, this has been on a decline since 1998 with the graph below indicating a fall in the ability of opposition groups to remain autonomous from the regime. With the lowest turnout in decades at 46.1 percent, President Maduro won the largely rigged elections in a landslide victory with 67.6 percent of the total votes. Ignoring international condemnation, he called the election ‘historic’ and hailed the ‘impeccable electoral process’ that earned him his victory. 

If you would like to learn more about Venezuela or opposition parties in other countries, use our online analysis tools at v-dem.net.


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