28 Sep 2010

Opposition makes gains in Venezuela

10:29 am on 28 September 2010

The Venezuelan opposition has overturned President Hugo Chavez's two-thirds majority in parliament.

Mr Chavez's United Socialist Party still won a majority of seats in Sunday's election but will now be unable to pass major legislation unaided, the BBC reports.

Opposition parties boycotted polls in 2005, allowing Mr Chavez's party to sweep up almost all the seats in parliament, so they were almost certain to make gains this time.

Electoral authorities announced that Mr Chavez' United Socialist Party (PSUV) won at least 94 seats, and the opposition umbrella group Table for Democratic Unity at least 60, surpassing the key target of 55.

The opposition focused its election campaign on rising crime and rising inflation.