Hours after polls closed, several opposition leaders took to the Internet to announce that their sources showed they had won a majority of seats in the National Assembly for the first time since 1998. The ruling Socialist party and its allies won 55 seats. “I can say today that the economic war has triumphed”, said Maduro, who was surrounded by top socialist leaders in the presidential palace as he mostly pulled phrases from the stump speech he had been delivering before the election. Fireworks were set off in celebration in pro-opposition districts of Caracas when the results were announced, while government supporters dismantled planned victory parties. In the plaza in affluent eastern Caracas that was the epicenter of this past year’s bloody anti-government demonstrations, a tiny group of adversaries, a number of them sipping on champagne, burned red shirts which are the ground-breaking dress that is obligatory.
… The victory is likely to fuel demands for President Nicolas Maduro to free jailed opponents and roll back socialist policies during what could be a period of intense political conflict in a deeply polarized country mired in economic crisis.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Venezuelans for making their voice heard and called on authorities to tabulate and publish remaining results in a timely manner.
Underlining the depth of feeling, movies circulating on-line appeared to present 5 outstanding socialist politicians – together with Chavez’s brother Adan – being booed at voting facilities on Sunday, with crowds yelling “the federal government will fall!” or “thief!”.