CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s political alliance claimed a sweeping victory Monday in congressional elections boycotted by the most influential opposition politicians and widely criticized internationally as being fraudulent.
The win gives Maduro control of the last major branch of government outside his grasp. It plays out in the waning days of the Trump administration, which leaves office with Maduro firmly entrenched despite its efforts to bring about his departure through diplomacy and sanctions.
“We have recovered the National Assembly with the majority vote of the Venezuelan people,” Maduro said in a televised address. “It’s a great victory without a doubt for democracy.”
Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela and allied parties captured 67% of seats in the National Assembly in Sunday’s election, said Indira Alfonzo, president of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council. Just 31% of the 20 million registered voters participated in the election, she said.