Venezuelan Opposition Sweeps Parliamentary Elections

In the early hours of this Monday morning, Tibisay Lucena, the President of the CNE, congratulated the Venezuelan people on its impressive “demonstration of civility” before announcing that the Venezuelan opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), had swept to victory in the Venezuelan legislative elections.

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President of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena (EFE/Fabiola Ferrero)
President of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena (EFE/Fabiola Ferrero)
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
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Caracas, December 7th 2015, (venezuelanalysis.com) Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has released the preliminary but “irreversible” results of the country’s National Assembly elections. 

In the early hours of this Monday morning, Tibisay Lucena, the President of the CNE, congratulated the Venezuelan people on its impressive “demonstration of civility” before announcing that the Venezuelan opposition coalition, the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD), had swept to victory in the Venezuelan legislative elections. 

According to Lucena, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has so far gained just 46 seats in parliament while their political opponents, the MUD, have gained 99 out of a total of 167 - according to the most recent count. Twenty-two seats are yet to be announced, including three representatives for the country’s indigenous population. 

Tibisay also highlighted the unprecedented levels of political participation and revealed that turnout had reached 74.25% of the registered electorate. 

The announcement came on the heels of intense voting throughout Venezuela, with many voting centres remaining open following their programmed 6pm closing time in order to attend to voters queuing outside. 

The victory hands the MUD a “simple majority” in the National Assembly, but this could change to a “qualified majority” depending on the outcome of the remaining twenty-two seats. 

If the MUD goes on to win 100 seats it will be able to remove ministers from the presidential cabinet. If it manages to gain more than 111 seats, the coalition would wield enough power in the legislative body to dismiss Supreme Court Judges and reform the Constitution.

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and leader of the PSUV, Nicolas Maduro, moved to accept the results - the most debilitating defeat for the ruling Chavista government since it came to power in 1999 - immediately on national television. 

“It’s not a time to cry, it’s a time to fight,” stated Maduro.  

“The struggle for socialism is just beginning-we are experts in starting over, we came from the streets, we are the people of difficulties,” he added. 

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