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Wives of jailed Venezuelan mayors win election in opposition stronghold cities

In the opposition strongholds of San Cristobal and San Diego in Venezuela, the wives of the cities' two jailed mayors ran for their husbands' seats, and won.

By JC Finley
Wives of jailed Venezuelan mayors win election in opposition stronghold cities
Venezuela protesters demonstrate outside of the Coral Reef High School in Miami, Florida, March 7, 2014. (UPI/Gary I Rothstein) | License Photo

CARACAS, Venezuela, May 27 (UPI) -- The wives of two Venezuelan mayors jailed earlier this year for failing to contain opposition protests have run for their husbands' seats, and won.

Patricia Gutierrez, whose husband Daniel Ceballos was sentenced to a year in prison, was elected mayor of San Cristobal with 73 percent of the vote.

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Rosa Brandonisio captured 88 percent of the votes to replace her husband, Vicencio Scarano, as mayor of San Diego. Scarano is serving a 10 month prison sentence.

San Cristobal and San Diego are considered opposition strongholds.

Anti-government demonstrations began in Venezuela in February, demanding an end to goods shortages, inflation and high crime. President Nicolas Maduro's government has blamed foreign-backed "fascists" for the unrest while the opposition has claimed the security forces were to blame for the violence.

The mayoral victories in San Cristobal and San Diego have "shown that power and abuse have received a big lesson," the opposition MUD party said in a statement.

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