On Sunday Dec. 6, Venezuela’s opposition party claimed the majority of seats in the National Assembly in elections. Now a total of 99 seats are occupied by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), while the United Social Party of Venezuela (PSUV) only holding 46 seats.
This is a significant change in power in the legislative branch, the last time a transformation this big took place was when late President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.
“This is a victory for democracy,” said Jesus Torrealba, executive secretary for the MUD.
Many Venezuelans view this as a historical and successful change, supporters showed their patriotism through voting and posting photos of ink-dyed fingers on social media such as Instagram.
Now that the opposition has control over the National Assembly it can influence new laws and increase or decrease government spending. It also make changes to the constitution that could potentially limit President Nicolas Maduro’s power.
“This election is a real barometer for how Maduro’s government has been doing,” says Christopher Sabatini, a Columbia University scholar in Latin America.
Venezuela is a country that heavily depends on income from oil production, and due to the decrease in oil prices the government is being deprived of money. With this comes economic inflation, a recession and an increase in violence and insecurity.
“It’s a historic victory, now begins the time for change in Venezuela!” Jesus Torrealba said to cheering supporters at MUD headquarters in Caracas.