Opposition candidate Luis Herrera Campins has claimed victory in Venezuela's Presidential Elections with unofficial voting returns putting him in the lead.
Opposition candidate Luis Herrera Campins has claimed victory in Venezuela's Presidential Elections with unofficial voting returns putting him in the lead. Unofficial counts of 85 percent of the vote showed Senor Herrera Campins of the Social Christian Party (COPEI) leading by 200,000 voted over the ruling Action Democratica (AD) candidate Luis Pinerua Ordaz. The winner of the election will succeed President Carlos Andrez Perez next March for a five year term.
SYNOPSIS: A massive turnout of voters throughout Venezuela on Sunday (3 December) delayed the close of polling stations for three hours. Opposition candidate Luis Herrera Campins arrived early to vote at a Caracas polling station. Later President Perez arrived to vote. First results suggested his successor may by Senor Herrera Campins.
Opinion polls had given the ruling Action Democratica party a slight edge over the opposition and a major question was whether Venezuela's six million voters would give the winner a clear parliamentary majority like that President Perez has enjoyed allowing him to carry out his policies almost unopposed for five years. Senor Pinerua Ordaz has pledged to consolidate the achievements of his governments, including the nationalisation of the iron and oil industries and to solve social problems created by an economic boom. This boom, caused by the increase in oil prices, quadrupled Venezuela's foreign exchange earnings and trebled its foreign exchange reserves. Senor Herrera Campins and other candidates have severely criticised the government's large investments in industry, electricity and dam building.