CARACAS — Venezuela's opposition anticipated victory on Sunday after polls closed in a legislative election that leaders have warned risks sparking violence in the oil-rich but impoverished nation.
Electoral authorities had yet to publish any results, but senior figures in the broad opposition coalition MUD started effectively claiming victory.
They included Henrique Capriles and Lilian Tintori, wife of the jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.
"The results are what we hoped for! Venezuela has won!" Capriles, leader of the Justice First party, wrote on Twitter.
Tintori, whose husband leads the Popular Will party, said in a video message published online: "We have won by a lot, we have won well!"
They did not state where they got their information about the results.
The state National Electoral Council (CNE) had yet to release results and there was no official comment from President Nicolas Maduro's government, though his supporters also celebrated in the street in eastern Caracas.
Squabbling broke out in the evening, with the opposition accusing the government of foul play by keeping polling stations open longer than scheduled.
The opposition is vying to win control of the legislature from the socialist government for the first time in 16 years. — AFP