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Venezuela’s opposition-held Congress extends term after disputed vote

President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela’s Opposition-held National Assembly approves a statute extending its term into 2021.

It follows a disputed December 6th election in which allies of President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling Socialist Party won 91% of the seats in Congress.

The South American country’s 4 main Opposition parties boycotted the Parliamentary vote, arguing conditions for a free and fair election were not met.

Most western democracies, including the United States, have said they do not recognize the election results.

The vote paves the way for Opposition Leader, Juan Guaido, to retain his role as the Parliament’s Speaker.

Mr. Guaido’s nearly 2-year push to oust President Maduro, whom he labels a dictator, has been unsuccessful.

The statute provides for a small group of Legislators to carry out the National Assembly’s functions.

The change comes as dozens of Legislators have fled the country, or have expressed unwillingness to continue serving in Congress next year, due to what they describe as threats from the government.

Mr. Maduro, who calls Guaido a US-puppet seeking to oust him in a coup, has said the election was transparent and points out that several opposition candidates participated.

Mr. Guaido says those candidates are shadow allies of the government.

The socialist-controlled Congress is scheduled to be sworn in on January 5th, 2021.

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