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
New poll in Costa Rica shows huge surge for evangelical pastorAFP - January 23, 2018
While nearly a third of Costa Rican voters remain undecided less than two weeks before the presidential and legislative elections,…
Tamarindo gears up for Art Wave FestivalEllen Zoe Golden - January 23, 2018
Tamarindo is preparing for another cultural immersion: the 2018 Tamarindo Art Wave is coming to town on Jan. 25-27. This…
VIDEO: Will Costa Rica recognize this same-sex marriage?Elizabeth Lang - January 22, 2018
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) ruled Jan. 9 that all member states, including Costa Rica, must recognize same-sex…