Today at 11AM Eastern, Venezuelan blogger Miguel Octavio talks about Killer Facts About Venezuela’s Parliamentary Elections, and what election day was really like.
You can listen to the live podcast, or at your convenience, here.
there are several scenarios under which Chávez could bend Venezuelan laws — as he has often done — to maintain his near absolute powers:
• Scenario 1: Chávez uses the outgoing National Assembly, which he fully controls until the newly elected legislators take their seats on Jan. 5, to pass an “enabling law” that grants him extraordinary temporary powers. He and previous Venezuelan presidents have done this.
• Scenario 2: The new National Assembly takes office Jan. 5. and Chávez no longer enjoys a two-thirds majority to rule at his will. But Chávez, through vote buying or intimidation, gets the votes he needs to get the new congress to pass an “enabling law.”
• Scneario 3: Chávez asks the Supreme Court, which he controls, to issue a ruling scrapping the two-thirds vote requirement and to allow him to pass key laws by a simple majority vote.
• Scenario 4: Chávez gives legislative powers to pro-government community councils, in effect stripping away the powers from the National Assembly.
He has done something similar before: When opposition Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma won in the 2008 elections, Chávez created an office of super-mayor of Caracas, appointed a loyalist to head it and shifted most of the opposition-held mayoral office’s duties and budget to the new office.