The CNE results as of the writing of this post:
That would allow the opposition to force a recall election of Maduro, and based on yesterday’s result, Maduro’s prospects and those of the Chavistas would look bleak indeed.
With a qualified majority of 3/5 of the National Assembly (101 members), the opposition can:
- Decide that a vote of no confidence in the Vice President or cabinet Ministers should lead to their dismissal, and subsequently dismiss them
- Authorize presidential decrees allowing expanded executive authority (so-called “enabling laws” or “leyes habilitantes”
- Appoint members of the National Electoral Council (CNE)
- Remove members of the CNE, provided it is backed by a ruling by the Supreme Court
With an absolute majority of 2/3 the National Assembly (112 members), the opposition can:
- Remove Supreme Court justices in cases of gross misconduct
- Subject any bills under discussion in the National Assembly to approval by referendum
- Convene a National Constituent Assembly, as well as a recall referendum for President Maduro
- Submit international treaties, conventions or agreements to referendums
- Pass and modify any draft organic law (laws which determine the fundamental political principles of a government)
The Diplomad (emphasis added):
It seems this time the opposition got its act together just as the regime implodes along with oil prices. Maduro simply does not have the loyalty of the “revolutionary” elites–e.g., in the military, in Hollywood, in Cuba–in the same way as did the much more charismatic, smart, and devious Chavez.
As far as the military (which allegedly may be involved in the drug trade), Miami’s El Nuevo Herald reports that Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López refused to go along with Nicolas Maduro’s and Diosdado Cabello’s orders to disregard the opposition’s massive victory, since that would lend itself to a prolonged period of violence.
Madrid’s El País highlights the military’s role last Sunday night (link in Spanish, my translation),
According to unconfirmed reports, the military’s high command let it be known during the tense Sunday evening that it would not support any results showing anything but the actual votes. That was the first sign that the military was unwilling to stand by the chavista government no matter what.
Seeing a 75% turnout, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the military were aware that a lot of chavistas – and many among the military – had voted for the opposition.
What comes next?
There’s a lot of speculation:
The WSJ editors see Hope at Last in Venezuela.
Srdja Popovic and William J. Dobson: Venezuela Has Just Begun to Fight. Hugo Chavez’s legacy just suffered a huge defeat. But the political opposition’s toughest days are still ahead.
Joshua Partlow: Election loss in Venezuela could be the beginning of the end of the Chávez era
Raul Stolk: Venezuela’s Opposition Shouldn’t Celebrate Yet
All eyes are on Mr. Maduro, and he is risking whatever support he may have left in the region as well as the survival of his United Socialist Party of Venezuela. But if history is any guide, he is likely to be tempted to nullify the election results and grab as much power as he can.
The new members of the Parliament will be sworn in on Jan. 5, 2016. The weeks before then will be critical for determining whether Mr. Maduro will be willing to work with the National Assembly, prove that rule of law exists in Venezuela and deal with the tanking economy — or if he will insist on fighting fictional wars. If he cares about his country’s future, he’ll sit down with the opposition.
Peter Wilson (registration needed): Chavismo in Pieces. Why Maduro Lost and What Will Come Next
Daniel Duquenal: Chavismo is not taking it well.
Andres Oppenheimer: Beware of post-election coup in Venezuela.
As I said yesterday, what takes place in Venezuela in the next month, and in the first six months of 2016, will be crucially important for our entire hemisphere.
Jaime Bayly had Venezuelan political analyst Aquiles Esté – very interesting conversation,
Linked to by Doug Ross. Thank you!