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Manuel Felipe de Tovar

In office
29 September 1859 – 20 May 1861
Preceded by Pedro Gual Escandon
Succeeded by Pedro Gual Escandon

Born 1 January 1803(1803-01-01)
Caracas, Venezuela
Died 21 February 1866 (aged 63)
Paris, France
Spouse(s) Encarnación Rivas Pacheco

Manuel Felipe de Tovar (1 January 1803 in Caracas - 21 February 1866 in Paris) was President of Venezuela from 1859–1861.

Tovar was the first President of Venezuela elected by popular vote, his first presidency lasted a month, when as President of the Council of State, replaced the absence of Julián Castro, from 18 August until 17 September 1858. Tovar was a direct descending of Bishop Fray Mauro de Tovar, who arrived to Venezuela with his nephews in 1640. Although inherited the title of Count of Tovar, he resigned the peerage, being an exemplary citizen of republican virtues. Tovar takes active part against the revolution of José Tadeo Monagas and his hegemony, being in total support of Julián Castro.

Tovar attends the Convention reunited in Valencia in July, 1858, where Julián Castro was elected provisional president. Tovar is designated President of the Council of State, and later on 4 January 1859, temporary Vice-president. In 1859, swaying the government of Castro, corresponded to Tovar to be in charge of the executive authority, in the heat of the Federal War. Despite the fury of this war, the elections in Venezuela are carried out. There is a notable characteristic, the 1860 elections are the first in which people goes to vote in a direct, secret and universal form. The only restriction is the war.

The scrutinies made under the supervision of congress, offers the following results: Manuel Felipe Tovar, 35,010 votes, Pedro Gual, 4,389 votes, José Antonio Páez, 746 votes. Tovar is elected by popular decision, but the war continues, Páez, who was in New York City, returns by petition of government, being in charge of the Army. On 20 May 1861 Tovar resigns to the presidency, under political and military pressure, after that decides to go along with his family to Paris, where he dies in 1866.

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