Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro casts his vote in parliamentary elections that could result in significant wins for the country's opposition. Nathan Frandino reports.
Flanked by some of his closest supporters, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro went to the polls on Sunday facing the greatest challenge to his socialist government in years. The former bus driver, whose country is experiencing chronic product shortages and the world's highest inflation, is hoping to keep a majority in the 167-seat National Assembly. At a news conference afterwards, Maduro called on every citizen to cast their vote. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA, SAYING: "Let nobody stay at home- go with your family, in a group, arm in arm, on foot, on bicycle, on motorcycle, by donkey- however you do it, go vote. Vote, vote vote. I'm making this call from my heart to millions of men and women who still haven't exercised their right as citizens." His party is facing an opposition movement that hopes to overhaul the dysfunctional state-led economy. Among the opposition is Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. After voting on Sunday, she told the press she hopes the country will achieve real change. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LILIAN TINTORI, WIFE OF LEOPOLDO LOPEZ, SAYING: "Today I came to vote for the freedom of all political prisoners. Today I came to vote for a better Venezuela which begins today. I am certain that Venezuelans will go out and vote in massive numbers for the change that we all want and that we all deserve." Opposition supporters have predicted significant wins for their side, though leading analysts believe the victory would be narrower than first thought.