Most Venezuelans Want Chávez Out in 2012

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(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Most people in Venezuela are hoping to see president Hugo Chávez leave in 2012 when his current term expires, according to a poll by Hinterlaces. 64 per cent of respondents want Chávez to step down in two years, up three points since October 2008.

Chávez—a left-leaning leader—has been in office since February 1999. In July 2000, he was elected to a six-year term with 59.5 per cent of all cast ballots. In August 2004, Chávez won a referendum on his tenure with 59 per cent of the vote. The special election was called after opposition organizations in Venezuela gathered 2.5 million signatures to force a recall ballot. In December 2006, Chávez earned a new six-year term with 62.89 per cent of the vote.

Chávez’s government has vowed to bring “21st Century Socialism” to Venezuela.

On Feb. 2, Chávez said he expects to celebrate another 11 years in office.

Venezuela currently imports 70 per cent of its food intake. Earlier this month, while government port authorities faced criticism over the rotting of over 100,000 tonnes of food, Chávez chastised private food distributing companies, calling them “food hoarders” and blaming them for the grocery and goods shortages that have become frequent across the country. The rotting food had been imported by the government and was destined for sale at government-run grocery chains.

Polling Data

Which of these options would you prefer?

May 2010 Oct. 2008
Hugo Chávez stepping down in 2012 64% 61%
Allowing Hugo Chávez to remain as president until 2021 31% 34%
Not sure 5% 5%

Source: Hinterlaces
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,300 Venezuelan adults, conducted on May 12, 2010. Margin of error is 2.8 per cent.