There’s a reason the rightwing opposition boycotted Sunday’s election and calls for street protests – it can’t mount a credible bid for government

The mainstream narrative on Venezuela goes something like this: the Caribbean nation exemplifies what happens when a majoritarian civil opposition falls victim to violent repression by an authoritarian government at the helm of a pointless “revolution from above”. But if the results of Sunday’s Venezuelan constitutional assembly’s election are true, the theory is now untenable.

According to official figures, more than 8 million voters turned out in favour of a proposed assembly. The assembly will have the power to rewrite the constitution in an attempt to unblock the stalemate between a rightwing-dominated and largely inoperative legislative, and a leftwing executive whose business has faltered thanks to a combination of incompetent measures and plummeting oil prices.

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