Maduro secures another term in office as Venezuelan president in uncontested election
Elections were set to be held in Venezuela on May 20, 2018. At stake would be the presidency of the country. In Venezuela, the president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term and the president serves as both head of state and head of government.
The last election was held in 2013 but was held under extraordinary circumstances. The 2012 presidential election was won by then-President Hugo Chavez against opposition leader, Henrique Capriles. However, Chavez died a year later leaving a power vacancy. Vice President Nicolas Maduro was soon sworn into power as the interim leader and fresh presidential elections were held soon after. In those 2013 elections, Maduro's lock on power was narrowly ratified at the polls as he also defeated Capriles.
In the years since 2013, Venezuela has seen a decline politically and economically, with the country dissipating almost failed state status. It was unclear if he would be able to hold onto power democratically at the polls in May 2018, given the Venezuelan state of crisis. However, with the opposition boycotting the polls, charging that the election would not occur under free and fair conditions, the advantage leaned towards Maduro's re-election.
Apart from Maduro, the leftist leader who has stylized himself as Chavez' heir to the Bolivarian socialist revolution in Venezuela, there were other presidential candidates -- ableit no one aligned with the main opposition bloc, which was participating in a boycott. One candidate was Henri Falcon, who was no ally of the opposition, and whose participation in the election woudl likely help to legitimize Maduro's likely victory. Another candidate was Janier Bertucci, an evangelical pastor who has held strictly conservative views opposed to abortion and same sex relationships, but whose program of feeding the poor has gained some support for him politically.
Note: As expected, Maduro secured a landslide victory in the uncotested election. In the aftermath of the election and Maduro's re-election, several countries including many Latin American ones, as well as Canada, recalled their ambassadors from Venezuela. Additionally, the United States imposed new economic sanctions on Venezuela.
-- May 23, 2018
Denise Youngblood Coleman, PhD.
President and Editor in Chief