Venezuelans headed to the polls for congressional elections Sunday under an economic contraction that is likely to leave the opposition in control of the National Assembly for the first time in 16 years. The International Monetary Fund estimates the economy will shrink 10 percent this year, more than any other in the world, while analysts forecast inflation of 124 percent. A backlash over stewardship of the economy is setting the scene for voters to hand the opposition the legislature, which has been under the control of the ruling Socialist party since the late Hugo Chavez first took power in 1999.

Turnout was higher than that seen in congress elections five years ago. As the first polls began to close, few reports of voting irregularities or violence had surfaced in local press. Social media was ablaze with videos of four pro-government governors being heckled by crowds as they voted. - Bloomberg