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Radical Change at the Ballot Box: Causes and Consequences of Electoral Behavior in Venezuela's 2000 Elections

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Molina V. José E.
Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público, Universidad del Zulia, Venezuela, University of Michigan
Pérez B. Carmen
Universidad del Zulia


This study aims to explain the victory of Hugo Chávez and his party in the 2000 Venezuelan elections, to analyze the factors that made this victory possible, and to examine the consequences for future developments in the Venezuelan political system. The decay of traditional party loyalties without the emergence of new parties deeply rooted in society (dealignment without realignment); underdevelopment; and an institutional setting dominated by a president elected by a plurality electoral system have opened the door to personality-centered politics and weak parties, which are the main features of the current political situation. Compared to the 1993 and 1998 elections, the 2000 elections once again confirm an increase in personality politics and the decay of parties as instruments for articulating interests, representation, and governance. As a consequence, this article argues, instability is likely to remain a feature of Venezuela's party system for some time.

Research Article
Copyright © University of Miami 2004

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