Caracas, December 3, 2006 (venezuelanalysis.com )— The main opposition candidate, Manuel Rosales, recognized his defeat to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez this evening in the Venezuelan presidential elections, shortly after the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Chavez’s 23 point lead with just over 78% of the votes counted. Nevertheless, Rosales declared Chavez’s margin of victory was not as large as the CNE announced. The opposition candidate told supporters that he will remain in the streets, “struggling for the people of Venezuela.”
“I want to announce to the people of Venezuela that today we are beginning the struggle for the construction of a new time for Venezuela… and I won’t stop there, from today on I will be in the streets,” said Rosales to huge applause.
“The results of the CNE are not the what they say they are,” continued Rosales, “The margin of difference is smaller, so I’m going to continue in the streets, struggling for the people of Venezuela, struggling for democracy, with liberty which we present.”
“The truth is that even with a closer margin, we recognize that today they defeated us, but we will stay in the struggle, in the fight, we will stay in the streets,” said Rosales
There is little doubt that Rosales’ recognition of the CNE results is welcome news for Venezuela. Many Venezuelans feared, before Sunday, that regardless of the victor, the loser of the presidential elections might refuse to recognize the results, potentially seeding conflict among Venezuela’s strongly divided population.