Venezuela’s ruling party had vowed to sweep the nation’s key governors’ race as a tribute to their stricken leader President Hugo Chávez who is convalescing in a Cuban hospital.
On Sunday, it made good on that promise, winning 20 of 23 states and punching into opposition strongholds, according to preliminary results.
“Chavismo, the force of the nation, won a crushing majority,” said Jorge Rodriguez, the head of the national campaign for the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela. “This is a victory for all of Venezuela but particularly a victory for Chávez.”
But there were some bright spots for the battered opposition. Henrique Capriles, the 40-year-old governor of Miranda state, won reelection in a critical race that may give him a second-shot at leading the country.