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Dhaka Tribune

Venezuela opposition thrashes Chavez legacy to win legislature

Update : 07 Dec 2015, 07:29 PM

Venezuela’s opposition trounced the ruling Socialists on Sunday to win the legislature for the first time in 16 years and gain a long-sought platform to challenge President Nicolas Maduro’s rule of the Opec nation.

The opposition Democratic Unity coalition won 99 seats to the Socialists’ 46 in the 167-national National Assembly, the election board said, with some districts still to be counted.

Fireworks were set off in celebration in pro-opposition districts of Caracas when the results were announced, while government supporters dismantled planned victory parties.

Maduro, 53, quickly acknowledged the defeat, the worst for the ruling “Chavismo” movement since its founder Hugo Chavez took power in 1999.

Opposition leaders, who have lost over-and-over since Chavez’s first election victory 17 years ago, were jubilant, even though their victory was mainly thanks to public disgust at Venezuela’s deep economic recession.

Opposition sources predicted that once counting was finalised, they would win as many as 113 seats. That would give them a crucial two-thirds majority needed to shake up institutions such as the courts or election board. 

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