The opposition coalition Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD) obtained 99 seats in the Venezuelan Legislative Assembly, against 46 seats obtained by the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV). Twenty-two seats were still to be allocated.
Head of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, highlighted the normal and peaceful development of the election yesterday, when 74.25% of enrolled voters participated. International observers also ratified the transparency of the Venezuelan electoral system. Polling stations remained open for an extra hour, until 7pm local time, to accommodate the large number of voters.
President Nicolás Maduro accepted defeat and said that “democracy has won”, despite the opposition’s claims of possible fraud and violence ahead of the election. However, he warned his supporters that “the economic war has won, the strategy to damage the collective trust in a project for the country has won. It has been a circumstantial win for the state of necessity created by a policy of unbridled capitalism, of hiding goods, of making them more expensive.”
Jesús Torrealba, executive secretary of the MUD, stated: “We have a reason to celebrate today. The country asked for a change, and that change begins today. Our vote managed to democratically defeat an undemocratic government. The results send a clear message to the government that the country is tired of living in failure.”
The allocation of the remaining 22 seats in the 167-seat unicameral assembly —including three indigenous representatives— will determine whether the MUD attains a simple majority (84 representatives) or a two-third majority (112 representatives), which would allow the opposition to remove judges from the Supreme Court or approve a constitutional reform, among other things. The latter scenario could lead to a stalemate in the relationship between the executive and legislative powers.