Maduro urges oppn to resume political dialogue

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called on the opposition to resume a political dialogue following the conclusion of the legislative elections, saying the polls led to a start of a new era.

“Starting today, a new era is born in Venezuela and we are giving ourselves the opportunity to start a truly democratic process for the recovery of our beloved homeland,” Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying in a statement on Sunday.

“I call on all the opposition to abandon the extremist route… We ask in one voice for the new United States government to lift all sanctions… Ee restore all national dialogue mechanisms and are preparing an electoral agenda,” he said.

The President added that although violent groups in the country had threatened to carry out acts of vandalism to keep some polling stations closed during the elections on Sunday.

But there were no incidents and all polling centres remained open.

“We had the patience, the wisdom, to wait for this hour, to wait for this day and get rid of that nefarious National Assembly that attacked Venezuelans, that brought the plague of sanctions, cruelty, and pain, suffering. We had patience, endurance, (and) resistance,” he said.

The National Assembly was declared in contempt by the Supreme Court of Justice almost five years ago, and the newly elected 277 deputies will take office in the coming months.

“Today’s vote is a vote of rebellion, of independence, to tell the world that Venezuela is nobody’s colony, that Venezuela is a free, sovereign and independent country,” Maduro added.

More than 20 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote in tSunday’s elections to choose legislators from more than 14,400 candidates registered by 107 national and regional political organisations.