Democratic Unity Roundtable

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Democratic Unity Roundtable
Mesa de la Unidad Democrática
Secretary-General Jesús "Chúo" Torrealba
Founded 23 January 2008
Political position Centrism
Big tent
Colors              (Venezuelan national colors)
Blue primarily
Seats in the National Assembly
109 / 167
Seats in the Latin American Parliament
8 / 12
3 / 23
81 / 337
Politics of Venezuela
Political parties

The Democratic Unity Roundtable (Spanish: Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, MUD) is a catch-all electoral coalition of Venezuelan centrist, centre-left, left-wing and centre-right political parties formed in January 2008 to unify the opposition to President Hugo Chávez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2010.[1] A previous opposition umbrella group, the Coordinadora Democrática, had collapsed after the failure of the Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004.

In the 2015 parliamentary election, the coalition became the largest group in the National Assembly with 112 out of 167 (a supermajority), ending sixteen years of PSUV rule of the country's unicameral parliament.


The MUD was formally launched on 23 January 2008 and restructured on 8 June 2009.[1][2] In June 2009 MUD included 11 political parties, and was led by Luis Ignacio Planas, President of Copei.[1] By April 2010 the MUD included around 50 political parties, of which 16 were national in scope (the rest regional), and had support from some other social organisations and opinion groups.[3] The main parties included in MUD are Democratic Action and Copei, the two parties who dominated Venezuelan politics from 1959 to 1999; the dissenting left-wing parties Movement for Socialism, Radical Cause and Red Flag Party; and more recently established parties Project Venezuela, A New Era, Justice First and For Social Democracy ("PODEMOS").[3]

The MUD is supported by the Movimiento 2D opposition movement led by El Nacional editor and proprietor Miguel Henrique Otero.

Ramón Guillermo Aveledo[4] served as the MUD's Executive Secretary from March 2009 to July 2014.[5]

The journalist Jesús "Chúo" Torrealba became the coalition's current Executive Secretary in September 2014.[6]

The coalition struggled to find a clear message in its early days, but has settled on a platform focused on human rights, democracy, and political pluralism. As a coalition of varying ideologies, MUD now rarely makes statements on social or economic policy, although it has supported the 2014–15 Venezuelan protests against supply shortages. MUD still occasionally faces internal divisions.[7]

2010 legislative elections

In April 2010 the MUD held primaries in 15 electoral districts, with 361,000 voters participating, and selecting 22 candidates (the remaining 143 candidates were chosen "by consensus"[3]).[3] The candidates chosen included María Corina Machado (of Súmate) and Iván Simonovis, one of nine police officials allegedly serving time for participating in the alleged 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt.[3] Several others of the nine, regarded by the MUD as political prisoners, were also nominated, in districts with a real chance of opposition success;[3] winning would require their release because of parliamentary immunity.[3] Manuel Rosales, the opposition's candidate in the Venezuelan presidential election, 2006 and now in exile in Peru due to corruption charges (which Rosales denies), was also nominated.[3]

In the September 2010 election for the National Assembly of Venezuela the MUD won around 47% of the vote nationally; however, it only gained 64 seats (out of 165) due to changes in population-vote distribution introduced by the incumbent national assembly that had a government party supermajority. In the same elections, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela won 48% of the vote and 98 seats, while the Patria Para Todos (PPT) party got only 2 seats.[8] Notable new deputies included María Corina Machado and Enrique Mendoza.

2012 presidential election

The MUD held an open primary election on 12 February 2012.[9] Henrique Capriles Radonski won the opposition primaries with 1,900,528 (64.2%) votes of the 3,059,024 votes cast (votes abroad not included).[10] The other candidates on the 12 February 2012 primary ballot were:[10]

2015 legislative elections

In December 2015, MUD won 112 of the 167 seats in the National Assembly to give it a 2/3 supermajority. [11]

Member parties

Party Spanish Leader Main ideology Seats in the AN
Justice First Primero Justicia PJ Henrique Capriles Radonski Humanism
33 / 167
Democratic Action Acción Democrática AD Henry Ramos Allup Social democracy
25 / 167
A New Era Un Nuevo Tiempo UNT Omar Barboza Social democracy
18 / 167
Popular Will Voluntad Popular VP Leopoldo López Social democracy
14 / 167
Radical Cause La Causa Radical LCR Andrés Velásquez Laborism
4 / 167
Progressive Movement of Venezuela (es) Movimiento Progresista de Venezuela MPV Simón Calzadilla Progressivism
4 / 167
Project Venezuela Proyecto Venezuela PRVZL Henrique Salas Feo Conservatism
2 / 167
Clear Accounts (es) Cuentas Claras CC Vicencio Scarano Progressivism
2 / 167
Progressive Advance Avanzada Progresista AP Henri Falcón Progressivism
2 / 167
Come Venezuela Vente Venezuela VV Maria Corina Machado Third Way
1 / 167
Fearless People's Alliance Alianza Bravo Pueblo ABP Antonio Ledezma Social democracy
1 / 167
Emergent People (es) Gente Emergente GE José Aparicio Social democracy
1 / 167
National Convergence Convergencia Nacional CN Juan José Caldera Christian democracy
0 / 167
Movement for a Responsible, Sustainable and Entrepreneurial Venezuela Movimiento por una Venezuela Responsable, Sostenible y Emprendedora MOVERSE Alexis Romero Green politics
0 / 167
Ecological Movement of Venezuela Movimiento Ecológico de Venezuela MOVEV Manuel Díaz Green politics
0 / 167

Former member parties

The christian democratic Copei party was not a member of the coalition in the 2015 parliamentary election, despite having been a founding member of the MUD.

Electoral results

Presidential elections

Election year Name # of
overall votes
 % of
overall vote
2012 Henrique Capriles Radonski 6,591,304 44.31 (#2)
Member of Justice First party in coalition. Lost.
2013 Henrique Capriles Radonski 7,363,980 49.12 (#2)
Member of Justice First party in coalition. Lost.

Parliamentary elections

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Leader
2010 5,334,309 (#2) 47.2%
67 / 165
Ramón Guillermo Aveledo
2015[12] 7,707,422 (#1) 56.3%
109 / 167
Increase 32
Jesús Torrealba

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Partidos de oposición conforman Mesa de la Unidad Democrática". Retrieved 2010-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. (Spanish) Candidatos unitarios ya tienen acuerdo de país para campaña El Universal. 24 de enero de 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 IPS News, 27 April 2010, Opposition Plans Return to Venezuelan Congress
  4. Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, 9 March 2012, Opposition Is Winning
  5. "Aveledo revela por qué renunció a la MUD y ratifica que no volverá al cargo". Noticia al Día. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Chúo Torrealba aceptó la secretaría ejecutiva de la MUD y anunció "gran acto de calle"". 24 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Political Handbook of the World 2015. Venezuela.
  8. [1]"In Venezuela, the electoral system is set up in a way that favors the majority party as well as rural votes more than urban votes. Chavez counts on support from the over-represented rural areas. The system means that even if the opposition won at least half of the votes, it would actually seat considerably fewer than half of the parliament.".
  9. de la Rosa, Alicia (12 February 2012). "Henrique Capriles wins opposition primaries in Venezuela". El Universal. Retrieved 2012-02-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 "A total of 3,040,449 votes were cast in opposition primary election". El Universal. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  12. ":: Consejo Nacional Electoral ::". Retrieved 2015-12-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links