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Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea Nacional / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 6 December 2015
Purpose of elections The centre-right Democratic Unity Roundtable alliance (MUD) took just over two-thirds of seats (see note 1) in the 167-member National Assembly, ahead of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the leftist government in power since 1999. The elections were held amid economic crisis, with the inflation rate reaching nearly 160%. During the election campaign, the PSUV ran on the government record. The MUD promised to put an end to nationalizations and to encourage foreign investment.

The 2015 elections were the first to be held since the death of President Hugo Chávez in March 2013. Vice President Nicolás Maduro officially succeeded him one month later, after narrowly defeating Mr. Henrique Capriles (MUD) in the snap presidential elections. The gender parity law was applied for the first time to the 2015 elections (see note 2). However, only 24 women (14.37%) were elected in 2015, down from 28 women of 165 members (16.97%) in 2010, because the law came into force in June 2015 after several parties had already completed their party primaries for the 2015 elections.

Note 1:
The MUD won 109 seats. In addition, three indigenous representatives were allied to the MUD, giving it 112 seats in all. The MUD was established by 11 opposition parties prior to the 2010 parliamentary elections. Its leadership includes several key opposition figures, including Mr. Capriles (Governor of Miranda), Mr. Antonio Ledezma (Mayor of Caracas, arrested in February 2015 over an alleged coup plot against President Maduro), Ms. María Corina Machado (former MP indicted in December 2014 for an alleged plot to kill the President) and Mr. Leopoldo López (opposition leader, jailed in 2014 for incitement to violence). Mr. López' wife, Ms. Lilian Tintori, became a figurehead for the MUD's 2015 election campaign.

Note 2:
The list of titular and substitute candidates under both systems (majority and proportional representation) must meet a 50 per cent quota with a zebra-system (alternation between men and women). In cases where a party cannot ensure parity, the proportion of its candidates of either sex cannot be lower than 40% or higher than 60%. However, the law came into force in June 2015 after several parties had already completed their party primaries for the 2015 elections.
Date of previous elections: 26 September 2010

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 5 January 2016

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: December 2019

Number of seats at stake: 167 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 1,799 (1,128 men, 671 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 37.3%

Number of parties contesting the election: 96 organizations, including 29 indigenous groups. Most organizations were a part of the MUD or the PSUV.

Number of parties winning seats: 2 coalitions*
*In addition, three representatives of indigenous people of Venezuela were elected.

Alternation of power: not applicable*
*presidential system

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 5 January 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Henry Ramos Allup (Democratic Unity Roundtable alliance, MUD)
Voter turnout
Round no 16 December 2015
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democratic Unity Roundtable alliance (MUD)
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Democratic Unity Roundtable alliance (MUD) 109
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) 55
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
National Assembly (18.12.2015, 01.01.2017)

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