Boycott-Tainted Poll Win Gives Maduro Total Control in Venezuela

The election, contested by about 14,000 candidates from more than 100 parties, comes with the country in a deep political and economic crisis -- suffocated by runaway inflation, paralyzed in endless queues for petrol, lacking water and gas supplies, and afflicted by sudden power cuts.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (AFP) President Nicolas Maduro seized total control of Venezuela's political institutions on Sunday, December 6th, with a sweeping victory in legislative elections that were boycotted by the main opposition parties.

Maduro and his left-wing allies had 67.7 percent of the vote with over 80 percent of ballots counted, while the opposition bloc which broke the boycott had 18 percent, National Electoral Council president Indira Alfonzo said.

Turnout was extremely low, with 69 percent abstaining.

Sunday's predictable triumph gives Maduro's ruling Socialist Party control of an expanded 227-seat National Assembly, the . . .

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