Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro´s political alliance claimed a sweeping victory Monday in congressional elections boycotted by the most influential opposition politicians and widely criticized internationally as being fraudulent. The win gives Maduro control of the last major branch of government outside his grasp. It plays out in the waning days of the Trump administration, which leaves office with Maduro firmly entrenched despite its efforts to bring about his departure through diplomacy and sanctions. “We have recovered the National Assembly with the majority vote of the Venezuelan people,” Maduro said in a televised address. “It´s a great victory without a doubt for democracy.” Maduro´s United Socialist Party of Venezuela and allied parties captured 67% of seats in the National Assembly in Sunday’s election, said Indira Alfonzo, president of Venezuela´s National Electoral Council. Just 31% of the 20 million registered voters participated in the election, she said. The National Assembly has been led by U.S.-backed politician Juan Guaidó, who has pressed to oust Maduro for nearly two years and end Venezuela´s deepening crisis. He´s backed by Washington and dozens of nations that consider Maduro´s presidency illegitimate. The election´s outcome, however, appears to weaken both Maduro, who´s accused as overseeing a fixed vote, and Guaidó, whose legal claim to the presidency hinges on his role as National Assembly head, while his own popularity fades after failing to oust Maduro. The opposition boycott stems from a Supreme Court ruling this year appointing a new election commission, including three members who have been sanctioned by the U.S. and Canada, without participation of the opposition-led Congress, as the law requires. The court also removed the leadership of three opposition parties – including Guaidó´s – appointing new leaders the opposition accuses of conspiring to support Maduro. A small number of opposition parties not associated with Guaidó have held dialogue with the government and participated in the election. Critics say this allowed Maduro to maintain the semblance of a valid contest. Maduro campaigned for his party´s candidates – including his son and wife – promising to finally silence the right-wing opposition, which he accuses of inciting violent street protests and inviting U.S. sanctions. The election comes amid uncertainty over the impending change of U.S. administration. Like outgoing President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden has called Maduro a “dictator,” though it´s unclear what approach he´ll take toward Venezuela´s crisis. Despite Venezuela´s political turmoil, voting took place with no apparent problems in Caracas, where polling places were operated by civilian militia members and armed soldiers alongside election workers. As a light flow of voters entered the polls, long lines of drivers throughout Caracas waited to fuel up their cars as the oil rich nation struggles to produce gasoline to meet domestic demands.