Venezuela's ruling party wins 20 governorships

Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) reported that local and regional elections saw voter turnout of 41.8%, equivalent to some 8.1 million people, in an initial announcement on Monday.

The ruling party won 20 governorships, while opposition politicians won three, the CNE said.

Shortly after the first results were published, leftist President Nicolas Maduro celebrated the government's triumph.

The results are a setback for the opposition leaders who returned to the fray after boycotting presidential polls in 2018 and congressional elections in 2020, arguing that a fair vote was impossible due to rigging and intimidation by violent gangs loyal to Maduro.

This year, the opposition politicians decided to contest the elections as they were frustrated by the failure of U.S. sanctions to dislodge Maduro, as well as emboldened by the presence of election observers from the European Union

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