Caracas: Venezuela’s opposition will fight to seize control of the legislature from the socialist government in elections on Sunday that leaders warn risk sparking violence in the crisis-hit major oil producer.
For the first time in 16 years of “Bolivarian revolution” under late president Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, polls show their rivals could now win a majority in the National Assembly.
That would strengthen the hand of the opposition even though several of its leaders are in jail, throwing up a challenge to the mustachioed Maduro as he grapples with a serious economic crisis.
“There will be a new political landscape and balance of power,” said Luis Vicente Leon, president of the Venezuelan pollster Datanalisis.
“If the opposition wins and is smart, it will negotiate for change. But if opposition radicals take control who just want to get rid of the president, they will lose a golden opportunity” for reform, he added.
The opposition coalition MUD has vowed to rescue the country from the economic management of the “Chavistas.”