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Venezuelan opposition parties are organizing early to take on President Hugo Chávez of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the 2012 presidential election. The coalition of conservative

February 12, 2012 - NULL

Venezuelan opposition parties are organizing early to take on President Hugo Chávez of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the 2012 presidential election. The coalition of conservative parties, the Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), represents the final state of a process to select a unity candidate for the contest. The competition will be tough: Chávez is going in to the election with sweet promises to voters and with enough economic good news to keep his critics at bay.

Much of the good news stems from rallying oil prices. On the strength of the high oil prices, investment bank

Venezuelan opposition parties are organizing early to take on President Hugo Chávez of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the 2012 presidential election. The coalition of conservative parties, the Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), represents the final state of a process to select a unity candidate for the contest. The competition will be tough: Chávez is going in to the election with sweet promises to voters and with enough economic good news to keep his critics at bay.

Much of the good news stems from rallying oil prices. On the strength of the high oil prices, investment bank Morgan Stanley recently increased its estimate of Venezuelan 2011 economic growth to 3 per cent, up tenfold from 0.3 per cent.

Chávez has announced significant minimum wage hikes, and on May 1, he held a huge rally in Caracas' Avenida Bolívar to announce full employment if he is re-elected in 2012. He spoke of his aim to create more than 3 million jobs in the next eight years, ending unemployment completely. He has announced that US $1.63 billion will be ploughed into Venezuelan universities, increasing wages of university professors as well as administrative staff. Nurses and other public administration staff were also set to receive significant wage increases.

The list of conservative candidates running for MUD nomination include: Manuel Rosales, Pablo Pérez, Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, Antonio Ledezma, César Pérez Vivas (current governor of Tachira state), Eduardo Fernández, and Capriles Radonski (current governor of Miranda State). The list includes many of the oppositions's long-standing political figures, despite attempts by the opposition to market itself as modern. (WRITTEN May 2011)

RELATED READING:
Venezuela's Chavez promises advances in housing, food and electricity
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90777/90852/7371970.html

Venezuela: Renewers versus Restorers (El Universal 16 Apr 2011)
http://english.eluniversal.com/2011/04/16/venezuela-renewers-versus-restorers.shtml

A Long, Tough Primary for Venezuela's Opposition (Bloggings by Boz 20 Apr 2011)
http://www.bloggingsbyboz.com/2011/04/benefits-of-long-tough-primary.html

Factbox: Venezuela's state takeovers under Chavez (Reuters 26 Apr 2011)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/26/us-venezuela-nationalizations-idUSTRE73P7N620110426

Date written/update: 2012-02-12