Opposition coalition wins control of Venezuela’s national assembly
CARACAS, Venezuela — The Venezuelan government lost control of its National Assembly early Monday morning, a major electoral defeat that revealed the deep discontent with President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist administration and the country’s unraveling economy.
The victory by the opposition coalition set the stage for further confrontation and could energize a movement aiming to Maduro from power before the end of his term in 2019. The result also marked a turning point for the “revolution” launched 16 years ago by the late Hugo Chavez.
About a half hour after midnight, the head of the country’s electoral body announced that the opposition coalition had won at least 99 of the 167 legislative seats. Cheers went up at the opposition’s campaign headquarters in a Caracas hotel. Another 22 seats had yet to be called, giving the opposition a possibility of winning an even larger majority.
The country has experienced a wrenching economic crisis in recent years. Opponents blame government mismanagement; Maduro — who is a tireless critic of the United States, as Chávez was — blames enemies in the business community for sabotaging the economy to turn people against his government.
“I can say today that the economic war has triumphed,” Maduro said in a televised address. He added that he accepted the results.
Let’s hope Marudo goes quietly when the time comes, good to see he “accepts the results” contrary to his previous statements.
Now the new government once installed will have to hold a coalition together while everybody expects them to make everything better overnight.