Two days after a landslide of popular support at the polls handed the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) a majority in the National Assembly, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) finally confirmed what MUD officials had been saying since Sunday night: the opposition bloc won 112 seats, giving it a 2/3 majority in the legislature. The MUD reached the monumental milestone after its candidate in Aragua’s Circuit 3 beat the PSUV candidate by 83 votes.
Aragua’s local CNE office announced early this afternoon that the MUD candidate in the state’s Circuit 3, Karin Salasnova, won 69,140 votes versus PSUV candidate’s Rosa Leon 69,058.
On midnight Sunday, the CNE announced that the MUD had won 99 of the National Assembly’s 167 seats, and that 22 circuits were too close to call at the time.
We don’t know why the CNE is taking so long, but [we have] 112 deputies.
Solorzano also pointed out that the MUD is the first party in the history of the National Assembly to receive a 2/3 majority mandate from voters.
MUD Wields Total Control Over Legislative Power
With a 2/3 majority in the National Assembly, the MUD has absolute control over every power afforded to the legislative branch. Ultimas Noticias published a list of laws and reforms the MUD promised to make upon winning the election.
According to the website, among the MUD’s priorities is the passing of a law to grant amnesty to the country’s political prisoners, including high-profile figures such as Antonio Ledezma, Leopoldo Lopez and Manuel Rosales. The same article points out that pressure from the private sector to do away with price controls might be on the MUD’s radar, along with a law to finally grant property deeds to Venezuelans who live in subsidized housing units.
Henry Ramos Allup, one of the leaders of the MUD, summed up for El Nacional what the 2/3 majority means for the bloc: “We can do practically everything with the wide majority that we have”. When asked by the newspaper if he feared what the PSUV might grant Maduro decree powers before the new session is sworn in on January 5, he said that it would be “very simple” to overturn them.
Borges: PSUV Too Weak to Mount Serious Challenge
Julio Borges, the head of the Primero Justicia party, spoke to the Associated Press today on the MUD’s win and the current state of the PSUV.
Borges told AP that he did not expect the PSUV to be able to mount any kind of serious challenge to the MUD in the National Assembly, since he believes that the party does not have “the strength nor the popularity nor the structure nor the cohesion” to do so. Instead, Borges believes that the PSUV will eventually “assimilate and metabolize” its defeat:
I’m not saying that we’re going to make a Walt Disney movie, but even if they don’t stop acting like they own the country, even if they don’t understand the democratic scream the people of Venezuela made, things have totally changed.
When asked how he would behave towards the PSUV in the National Assembly specially in light of some of the abusive treatment opposition deputies received in the legislature in the past, Borges said:
The best lesson I can teach him [Diosdado Cabello] and the others who mistreated us is to treat them with total dignity and respect.
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