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Yearbook 2012

Venezuela. On October 7, President Hugo Chávez was re-elected with a good margin for another six-year term with 55% of the votes cast. In only two of Venezuela's 23 states, Mérida and Táchira, did he lose to opponent Enrique Capriles of the opposition alliance Democratic Alliance Round Table (MUD), which received 44% of the vote. According to countryaah, the turnout was high, around 81%, and Capriles quickly recognized Chávez's victory. A week after the election, the government was reformed and Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro became vice president.

2012 Venezuela

However, President Chávez's health deteriorated markedly during the year and rumors occasionally surfaced that he would have died. In February, he underwent another cancer operation in Cuba, and after the fourth operation in November suffered such complications that a constitutional crisis arose around the question of whether he could be sworn in in January for a new term after the victory in the presidential election. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the constitution that the inauguration ceremony could be postponed until he recovered created great irritation within the opposition, which also repeatedly complained during the year that the government did not speak the whole truth about Chávez's state of health.

The regional elections on December 16 also saw great success for Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV). The party, which already held the governor post in 15 of the country's 23 states, lost power in two states (Amazon and Lara) but won over the opposition alliance MUD in a total of 20 states. The opposition retained power in Miranda, where presidential candidate Capriles won. However, turnout was only 54%. PSUV also got the majority of seats in the state parliaments in all states except the Amazon. The elections were conducted in the shadow of President Chávez's deteriorating state of health, and Capriles complained that PSUV used it to emotionally blackmail voters.

A major public success for President Chávez was Venezuela's entry into the South American common market Mercosur in late July. This is in line with Chávez's political rhetoric but has been questioned by other member states, especially Brazil and Paraguay.

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