By JUAN REARDON – VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM
Merida, September 16th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Thursday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the key to his electoral strategy for winning next year’s presidential elections is the mobilization of 10 million voters for what he called “the October 7th Mission.” His statements came in response to a decision earlier this week by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) to hold next year’s presidential elections on 7 October 2012, putting an end to uncertainty as to when the election would be held. The winner of the October election will hold the presidency through 2019.
“As we all know,” said Chavez, “yesterday the CNE put a date of October 7th (2012) for the presidential elections and I dare to launch a new mission today: the October 7th Mission, 10 million votes.”
“On February 4th of next year we are going to release the political cavalry, 20 years to the date of the patriotic rebellion. We set that date as the start of our official march towards the October 7th victory,” Chavez announced.
On 4 February 1992 Chavez launched a failed military rebellion against the government of then President Carlos Andres Perez, of the opposition’s Democratic Action (AD) party.
Two years later Chavez was pardoned by newly elected Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera and in 1998 won his first presidential election with some 3.67 million votes (56% of the popular vote). After a new constitution was drafted by a Constitutional Assembly and approved by voters in 1999, Chavez went on to win his second presidential election in 2000, this time with 3.76 million votes (60% of votes). In 2006, Chavez won his third presidential election with 7.3 million votes (62.8% of votes).
“This decade we must guarantee what is to come about as we march towards 2021, and in that decade we must guarantee what will develop as we move towards 2031,” explained Chavez on Thursday.
“So starting right now let’s get working hard towards that grand victory,” he said.
According to the Venezuelan president, the Bolivarian Revolution underway since his first election in 1999 “is the correct way forward.”
“No one should let themselves be confused. Here there are only two ways forward: This way, which we are pushing forward, the difficult way, the long way, filled with doubts and mistakes, but the correct way” or the opposition’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) which he called “a barbarity.”
Chavez said he was confident he will win next year’s presidential election, joking that the only “little surprise” voters should expect is “the return of a new Chavez, a rejuvenated Chavez, 20 kilos (44 pounds) lighter, sleeping seven hours per day instead of two, drinking only two cups of coffee a day and not four thermoses as was the case before.”
In addition, said Chavez, his reelection will allow him to incorporate, “a series of reflections currently underway, as well as new plans” that he has developed during his ongoing battle with cancer.
Tibisay Lucena, President of the CNE, announced on Wednesday that CNE Board of Directors decided unanimously to hold the elections for president, governors, and municipal governments on separate dates. The CNE decision, explained Lucena, is in line with the country’s standing electoral laws which prohibit the holding of municipal and presidential elections on the same day.
The country’s gubernatorial and municipal elections will be held in December 2012 and April 2013, respectively.