After months of active campaigning Venezuela's two main presidential candidates are preparing themselves for a televised debate on November 30th.
After months of active campaigning Venezuela's two main presidential candidates are preparing themselves for a televised debate on November 30th. Eleven candidates will contest the election on December the third. The two main contenders are Luis Pinerua Ordaz of the Ruling Democratic Action Party (AD) and Luis Herrera Campins of the Opposition Social Christian Party (COPEI). According to the Financial Times of London the new government will take over the job of managing one of Latin America's wealthiest and most dynamic countries through a bold development program.
SYNOPSIS: Senor Pinerua is a member of the Venezuelan Lower House of Congress, Secretary General of his party and life-time party worker. Enthusiastic campaigning has been in full swing for several months.
Senor Pinerua has been attacked by critics as being a dour and dull product of the party machinery. A large percentage of the electorate are young and the politicians have directed much of their energy toward the new voters. And Senor Pinerua has stressed that he will choose the most qualified individuals to serve in his government regardless of party affiliations.
According to public opinion polls taken at the end of September Senor Pinerua is slightly ahead of opposition candidate Luis Herrera Campins, but the race will be a close one. It is a party race that has dominated Venezuelan politics for the last two decades.
Senor Herrera is a long-time Social Christian party member and led the opinion polls for some months last year. But his critics charge that he lacks enough high-level government experience to be President. Senor Herrera has been described as an intellectual with a common touch.
Senor Herrera has assumed the offensive position and blames the present AD Government for problems such as water shortages, power cuts, inflation, housing deficiencies and a perpetual snarl in public transport. But he and Senora Pinerua have put forward very similar programmes to deal with these problems. How the country's riches are used for development is the most pressing issue.
Senor Herrera has fiercely attacked the AD government of President Carlos Andres Perez for spending too much money on advertising to promote their achievements and not enough on constructive programmes. President Perez has made regular appearances on television to review his four years in office and this is seen as an advantage to his party's candidate, Senor Pinerua, to whom Senor Hererra is currently running a close second.