Hundreds of government supporters took to the streets of Caracas on January 5 to demonstrate against the transfer of the uni-cameral National Assembly to the opposition coalition, which won two-thirds of the seats during the polling in December.
(Soundbite) Oscar Contreras, Protest Coordinator
“We are willing to stand on the street and in any space as the Bolivarian government needs. We are determined to defend the victory it has achieved for the people during the past 15 years.”
Meanwhile at the congress, the swearing-in of the new legislators was disrupted, as the old ones walked out of the chamber in protest.
(Soundbite) Henry Ramos, President of National Assembly
“I swear to fulfill well and faithfully the Constitution, laws of the Republic and all the obligations and duties of the office of President of the National Assembly with which I am vested.”
The opposition coalition won 112 out of the 167 seats of the National Assembly by capitalizing on anger over shrinking economy, soaring prices and chronic product shortages.
The opposition’s victory ended the ruling party’s almost 16-year control of the parliament.