Venezuelan regional elections, 2008

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The 2008 regional elections of Venezuela were held on 23 November 2008 to choose 22 governors and 2 metropolitan mayors. The candidates were selected for a term beginning in 2008 and ending in 2012, when the next regional elections will be held. The 2008 regional elections were the second during the government of Hugo Chávez Frías and the first since he founded the United Socialist Party.[1] In these elections, a total of 17,308 candidates competed for 603 elected positions; around 59 national and 236 regional political parties participated.[2]

During the elections, the Venezuelan General Comptroller banned almost 300 candidates who had been accused of corruption. The Supreme Tribunal ratified the bans and removed the candidates from the process.[3][4][5] The government of the state of Amazonas and nine municipalities were not chosen in this elections because they had been elected after the 2004 regional elections.[6] The Venezuelan opposition managed to attain the metropolitan municipality of Caracas, won by candidate Antonio Ledezma, as well as five state governments; the United Socialist Party, meanwhile, won seventeen.

Henrique Capriles Radonski, the former mayor of the Baruta municipality,[7] became the governor of Miranda, defeating the incumbent, Diosdado Cabello.[8] Adán Chávez, president Hugo Chavéz's brother,[8] became the governor of Barinas. In Carabobo, Henrique Salas Feo, the son of former presidential candidate Henrique Salas Römer, defeated his opponent Mario Silva to become the governor. Pablo Pérez Álvarez became the governor Zulia; he succeeded Manuel Rosales, who had governed from 2000 until 2008 and was a presidential candidate in 2006.[9]


The following list shows the three main candidates according to their political affiliation (government, opposition and dissident or independent) ordered by number of votes attained. The political affiliation is determined by the political parties supporting each candidate. For the 2008 elections, government candidates were supported by the United Socialist Party; opposition candidates were supported by either Justice First, Democratic Action or the Political Electoral Independent Organization Committee parties; and independent candidates were mostly supported by regional parties.

Metropolitan mayors[edit]

double-dagger Indicates the winning candidate
Metropolitan mayorship winners and candidates with affiliation, percentage and number of votes attained
Metropolitan Area Affiliation Candidate  % Votes
Caracas Opposition Antonio Ledezma double-dagger 52.40 722,822
Government Aristóbulo Istúriz 44.94 619,622
Independent Augusto Uribe 1.97 27,281
Alto Apure Government Jorge Rodriguez double-dagger 55.92 21,381
Independent Elfar Angarita 20.86 7,979
Opposition Ignacio Barrillas 20.21 7,728


A white man with gray-shaded hair and lens talking with his mouth half-opened
Antonio Ledezma became the major of the Metropolitan municipality of Caracas, defeating Aristóbulo Istúriz.
A man smiling while wearing a hat with the colours of the Venezuelan flag: red, blue and yellow.
Henrique Capriles Radonski, whom became presidential candidate in 2012, defeated former vice-president and governor Diosdado Cabello to become the governor for the Miranda state.
A black suited man talking to an audience in front of a microphone
Pablo Pérez Álvarez defeated his adversary Gian Carlo di Martino and succeeded Manuel Rosales as governor of the Zulia state.
double-dagger Indicates the winning candidate
Governorship winners and candidates with affiliation, percentage and number of votes attained
State Affiliation Candidate  % Votes
Anzoátegui Government Tarek William Saab double-dagger 55.09 311,344
Opposition Gustavo Marcano 40.49 228,814
Independent Benjamín Rausseo 3.34 18,879
Apure Government Jesús Aguilarte double-dagger 56.97 89,823
Opposition Miriam de Montilla 26.43 41,673
Independent Rafael Rojas 6.85 10,813
Aragua Government Rafael Isea double-dagger 58.92 382,845
Opposition Henry Rosales 39.81 258,684
Independent Luis Zapata 0.65 4,245
Barinas Government Adán Chávez double-dagger 50.48 148,353
Independent Julio César Reyes 43.95 129,143
Opposition Rafael Jiménez 4.93 14,506
Bolívar Government Francisco Rangel Gómez double-dagger 47.38 210,511
Opposition Andrés Velásquez 30.69 136,378
Independent Antonio Rojas Suarez 14.8 65,748
Carabobo Opposition Henrique Salas Feo double-dagger 47.50 407,520
Government Mario Silva 44.52 381,950
Independent Luis Felipe Acosta Carlez 6.56 56,290
Cojedes Government Teodoro Bolívar double-dagger 52.44 68,903
Opposition Alberto Galíndez 39.59 52,015
Independent Gonzalo Mujica 6.70 8,812
Delta Amacuro Government Lizeta Hernández double-dagger 55.80 36,965
Independent Pedro Santaella 25.23 16,716
Opposition Amado Heredia 14.45 9,578
Falcón Government Stella Lugo double-dagger 55.36 202,438
Opposition José Gregorio Graterol 44.40 162,359
Independent Jhonny Tovar 0.16 615
Guárico Government Willian Lara double-dagger 52.54 147,796
Independent Lenny Manuitt 33.20 93.393
Opposition Reynaldo Armas 13.42 37,759
Lara Government Henri Falcón double-dagger 73.52 448,536
Opposition Pedro Pablo Alcántara 14.58 88,948
Independent Fredy Andrade 8.89 54,251
Mérida Government Marcos Díaz Orellana double-dagger 55.04 196,667
Opposition Williams Dávila 44.70 159,728
Independent María Díaz 0.25 906
Miranda Opposition Henrique Capriles Radonski double-dagger 53.11 583,795
Government Diosdado Cabello 46.10 506,753
Independent Blanca Tamara Vargas 0.53 5,832
Monagas Government José Gregorio Briceño double-dagger 64.86 204,857
Opposition Domingo Urbina 15.02 47,437
Independent Ramon Fuentes 12.88 40,684
Nueva Esparta Opposition Morel Rodríguez double-dagger 57.53 112,516
Government William Fariñas 41.80 81,756
Independent Nelson Silva 0.48 955
Portuguesa Government Wilmar Castro double-dagger 58.22 185,271
Opposition Jobito Villegas 26.93 85,707
Independent Bella Petrizzo 14.49 46,110
Sucre Government Enrique Maestre double-dagger 56.51 204,665
Opposition Eduardo Morales Gil 42.21 152,870
Independent Armiche Padrón 0.58 2,110
Táchira Opposition César Pérez Vivas double-dagger 49.46 240,478
Government Leonardo Salcedo 48.12 233,995
Independent Rosa Velazco 1.28 6,242
Trujillo Government Hugo Cabezas double-dagger 59.96 170,770
Opposition Enrique Catalán 26.30 74,905
Independent Octaviano Mejía 13.22 37,666
Vargas Government Jorge García Carneiro double-dagger 61.57 83,937
Opposition Roberto Smith 32.19 44,939
Independent Carlos Mayora 2.81 3,925
Yaracuy Government Julio León double-dagger 57.83 130,659
Opposition Filippo Lapi 28.91 65,313
Independent Edward Capdevielle 9.97 22,534
Zulia Opposition Pablo Pérez Álvarez double-dagger 53.34 776,372
Government Gian Carlo di Martino 45.26 658,724
Independent Saady Bijani 0.71 10,423


According to the American think tank Freedom House, from this election on Venezuela ceased to be an electoral democracy,[10] in part due to the disqualification of opposition candidates on corruption charges by stating that "the separation of powers is nearly nonexistent" in Venezuela.




  1. ^ Rondón Espín, Patricia (3 March 2008). "Chávez funda Partido Socialista Unido para apoyar su revolución". Reuters América Latina (in Spanish). United States: Thomson Reuters Corporate. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Vinueza, Ramiro (9 December 2008). "Venezuela, un triunfo que reclama rectificaciones" (in Spanish). Voltaire Net. Archived from the original on 7 October 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Wilpert, Gregory (6 August 2008). "Venezuelan Supreme Court Ratifies Candidate Disqualifications as Constitutional". Global Exchange. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Venezuela: Cracks Showing in Chavez's Control". Stratfor Global Intelligence. 6 August 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Venezuelans local polls a popularity test for Chavez". Taipei Times. Taiwan: Liberty Times Group. 24 November 2008. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Cargos Que No Se Eligen 2008" (PDF). Dirección General de Estadísticas Electorales (in Spanish). Caracas, Venezuela: Consejo Nacional Electoral. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "H. Capriles Radonski". Tal Cual (in Spanish). Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial La Mosca Analfabeta C.A. 12 February 2012. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Chirinos, Carlos (24 November 2008). "Todos ganan en Venezuela". BBC Mundo (in Spanish). United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Curriculum del gobernador" (in Spanish). Zulia State Government. 2007. Archived from the original on 12 January 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Freedom in the World report: Venezuela, 2009

Further reading