Venezuelan president Maduro firms grip on power - DW News.

President Nicolas Maduro won total control over the country's legislature, the National Assembly (AN), and fully consolidated his regime's grip on power in the country following Sunday's parliamentary election.

Maduro's party claimed almost 68% of the vote, in an election which was mostly boycotted by the opposition. The National Assembly was the last institution in the country not yet headed by Maduro. The opposition, parts of which participated in the election despite the opposition's call for a boycott, received 18% of the vote.

Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and allied parties captured 67 seats in the National Assembly, said Indira Alfonzo, president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council.

International observers like the EU and the Organization of American States (OAS) refused to send observers to Sunday's election and said the conditions for a democratic process in Venezuela do not currently exist. The country's opposition, led by the current AN president and Maduro foe Juan Guaido, said the vote represents "a fraud."

The White House National Security Council also called Sunday's vote fraudulent. "This election only serves to keep Maduro in power and does nothing to build a better future for the people of Venezuela," the council tweeted. Despite US President Donald Trump's campaign of strict sanctions and high diplomatic pressure, Maduro has remained in power, backed by the country's military and supported by Russia, Cuba, China and Iran.

The opposition further fractured over Sunday's election, as a small faction has pledged to participate in the vote. Guaido has planned a week-long plebiscite, starting Monday, to rebuke the new congress and seeking public support to prolong the mandate of the current AN under his leadership until "free, verifiable and transparent" elections can be held.

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