29 Sep 2010

Venezuela election result celebrated by both sides

6:18 am on 29 September 2010

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has hailed a parliamentary election result as an important victory for his revolutionary agenda.

His party retained overall control of Congress on Sunday, but did not obtain a two-thirds majority it needs to pass major legislation without opposition backing.

An opposition umbrella group won 65 seats,and the United Socialist Party won 98. The BBC reports turnout was 66%.

The opposition alliance is also celebrating the result because it says it won more than half the popular vote.

However, the new parliament will not convene until early January, leaving Mr Chavez three months to push through any key reforms.

The next presidential elections are due in 2012.