Venezuela elections: Opposition declares victory, wins control of legislature
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s opposition won control of the national legislature, electoral authorities said Monday, in a blow to the oil-rich country’s socialist government that has held the congress for 16 years.
The broad, mostly center-right MUD coalition won a majority of 99 out of 167 seats in the legislature, the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, announced.
Socialist President Nicolás Maduro promptly appeared on television saying he accepted the defeat, a blow to his leadership during a dire economic crisis.
“We have come with our morals and our ethics to recognize these adverse results, to accept them and to say to our Venezuela that the constitution and democracy have triumphed,” he said.
Fireworks erupted over the capital Caracas as opposition supporters celebrated.
Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela won 46 seats in the single-chamber National Assembly, Lucena said. The results for 22 other seats had not yet been confirmed.
The result strengthens the opposition’s hand against Maduro though it was short of the super majority the MUD had hoped for.
“Venezuela has won,” tweeted senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles. “We always said this was the way: humility, maturity and serenity.”
Ganamos Venezuela!Siempre lo dijimos,este era el camino!Humildad,madurez y serenidad!Que viva el Pueblo venezolano!
— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) December 7, 2015
Maduro called for the opposition to “live together” with his side.
He softened his tone from before the elections when he had vowed to hold onto power “no matter how.”
“We have lost a battle today, but the struggle to build a new society is just beginning,” he said.
“A counter-revolution has triumphed, which has imposed its own way, its war,” he said, in reference to what he alleges is a U.S.-backed “economic war” against Venezuela by businesses.
Hit by falling prices for the oil exports on which it relies, the country of 30 million is in an economic crisis, with families suffering shortages of basic foods and supplies.
Watch Maduro’s post-vote speech, in Spanish:
You may be interested
Citing value of art, Culture Ministry criticizes budget cutsAlejandro Zúñiga - October 21, 2020
The Culture Ministry (MCJ) on Tuesday criticized a budget cut that it says will have “significant impacts” on Costa Rica’s…
Costa Rica’s million-raptor watch siteRobin Kazmier - October 21, 2020
During the months of September, October and November in the skies near Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, an incredible natural phenomena…
Arrest warrants issued for founders of Panama Papers firm: reportAFP - October 21, 2020
Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven…