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27 Sep, 2010 03:35

Venezuela votes new parliament in “war of ideology”

Venezuela's ruling party, backed by President Hugo Chavez, has won the country's general election. But early results show it has missed out on the two thirds needed for outright majority.

Now the opposition – which has won more than one third of the seats – could block bills put forward by the ruling party.

The vote is being seen as a test of popularity for President Hugo Chavez and his ruling United Socialist Party. As vote counting is underway, Venezuelans speak out on possible outcome.

After months of intense campaigning and PR maneuvers from both sides, on Sunday Venezuelans all over the country hit the polls to vote for their National Assembly.

The obvious signs of election day painted the city on Sunday. There was less traffic and businesses closed down to accommodate voters, military was on high alert and long lines wrapped around polling stations.

The rumors started to flare on the eve of the election, allegations that voting machines were out of order began to circulate on the oppositions side.

However, many voters told RT that they did not account any problems in the voting process on Sunday. As results had yet to be announced, supporters of both sides were keen on making their predictions.

"Probably the government will get 80-90 seats in the Congress and the opposition will get 60-70," Enrico, who is supporting the opposition, told RT.

In turn, Chavez’s supporters disagreed with such a prognosis.

"What the opposition claimed all along is the media message that they hold the majority,” Chavez’s supporter Zulma told RT. “On the contrary, throughout the past 11 years, the revolutionary process has won every election and this too is going to be a victory for us."

"There are lots of expectations,” said Fatima who supports the opposition. “Let's hope the results are what we expect for the sake of everyone."

This days on the streets of Caracas, it has been almost impossible to avoid election talk. The Venezuelan people know this election in ways is an ideological dispute, one deeply rooted in the history of Latin America

"This is more than an ideological war. It is a war of interests and power, the power that the right has always had over Latin America,” said Zulma. “More than an ideological war, it is about the rights of the people of Latin America to make our own decisions, to solve our problems according to our real needs."

Decisions that will eventually reflect after this election is finally over…