Opposition Sweeps Venezuelan Elections

Last night, Panama was alive with cheers and fireworks as the opposition in Venezuela won a majority of seats in the National Assembly. For nearly two decades Venezuela has been under the rule of President Nicolas Maduro and the United Social Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

But last night The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) took 99 seats, with 46 for the PSUV. The event marked the first major shift in legislative power since the Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.

Former president, Nicolas Maduro addresses the country with a speech televised live. He said:

"We have come with our morals and our ethics to recognize these adverse results, to accept them and to say to our Venezuela that the constitution and democracy have triumphed”. He continues, "We have lost a battle today, but the struggle to build a new society is just beginning."

The opposition alliance, made up of centrist and conservative parties took at least 112 seats gaining power after 16 years of socialist control. Extremely high voter participation (74.3%),  suggests a majority of the population supported the change.