Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Key political risks to watch in Venezuela

Posted in Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on September 1, 2010

by Frank Jack Daniel, Patricia Rondon, Marianna Parraga and Daniel Wallis; Editing by Kieran Murray for Reuters, September 1st, 2010.

Venezuelans vote in legislative elections this month with runaway crime and the ragged state of the economy the main issues in the campaign.

Keep an eye out for unpredictable policy changes by socialist President Hugo Chavez, especially if the poll bolsters the opposition, as well as the chance of new nationalizations in the energy sector.

LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

Elections on Sept. 26 will weaken Chavez’s grip on the National Assembly and give the opposition its first big voice in the legislature since it boycotted the last vote for lawmakers in 2005. Polls suggest Chavez’s socialist party will likely keep control of the Assembly, but with reduced numbers that could make it harder to pass major legislation.

The party may win most seats without the majority of the vote, a symbolic blow to populist Chavez. The unlikely event of the opposition winning control of the Assembly would create serious headaches for Chavez before the 2012 presidential election and increase political instability. (continue reading… )

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