Maduro's party claims victory as opposition boycotts vote

Candidates supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have secured control of the national congress, the electoral board said on Monday, after a parliamentary election, which opposition leaders boycotted because of what they said was fraud.

Photo: CGTN

The electoral board's president, Indira Alfonzo, said in comments broadcast on state television that 67.6 percent of 5.2 million votes cast in Sunday's election were for pro-Maduro candidates.

More than 20 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote in this Sunday's elections to choose legislators from more than 14,400 candidates registered by 107 national and regional political organizations.

Lines were short at polling places across Venezuela on Sunday as many voters heeded opposition leader Juan Guaido's call for a boycott. In some areas, there were longer queues to buy scarce fuel than to cast a vote.

The election closes a cycle that began in 2015 when the opposition won congress by a landslide, only to see their legislative powers swept aside by pro-government courts and the creation in 2017 of an all-powerful body known as the National Constituent Assembly.

The National Assembly was declared in contempt by the Supreme Court of Justice almost five years ago, and the newly elected 277 deputies will take office in the coming months.

(Cover: Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and supporters of Venezuela's Socialist United Party (PSUV) celebrate after the announcement of the results of the parliamentary election at the Bolivar Theater in Caracas, Venezuela, December 6, 2020. /Reuters)

(With input from agencies)