Combative opposition leader to head new Venezuelan congress controlled by government foes

Confrontational politician Henry Ramos Allup will head Venezuela's congress when the opposition takes control of the body next week.

The newly elected opposition majority voted in Allup as National Assembly president Sunday. The legislative session that starts Tuesday will represent the first time opponents of Venezuela's socialist administration have had control of any government institution in more than a decade.

Allup won the leadership vote with the help of opposition hard-liners who favor street demonstrations and direct confrontation with the administration. He beat more moderate lawmaker Julio Borges, whose Justice First party advocates a policy of negotiation and a focus on the ballot box.

The opposition has long been split between moderates and hard-liners, and the two camps have exchanged barbs since the coalition's landslide victory in Dec. 6 elections.