World

Venezuelan socialists hold legislative primaries amid falling support for Maduro

  • Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady, Cilia Flores, left, gesture to supporter as they arrive at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady, Cilia Flores, left, gesture to supporter as they arrive at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Voters wait to vote at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Voters wait to vote at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Voters sit wait to vote at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Voters sit wait to vote at a poll station during ruling party primary elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, June 28, 2015. The PSUV, United Socialist Party of Venezuela held nationwide primaries today to select candidates for the upcoming December legislative elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

Members of Venezuela's ruling socialist party selected candidates to compete in December's legislative elections that the opposition is favored to win amid a punishing economic crisis that is eroding support for President Nicolas Maduro.

National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said that more than 3 million party loyalists partook in Sunday's primary and that the vote count was double the number cast for opposition candidates in the 33 districts where it held primaries last month.

But the National Electoral Council didn't provide any turnout figures and opposition groups said abstention was high.

Among the 110 candidates chosen to represent the United Socialist Party in the legislative vote was a brother of the late President Hugo Chavez, several ex-cabinet members and a number of minor celebrities.