CARACAS. Venezuelans voted for a new parliament yesterday with President Hugo Chavez expected to keep control of the National Assembly in an election testing his support ahead of a presidential ballot in 2012.

From before dawn, Chavez supporters woke up voters in teeming shantytowns and elsewhere with fireworks, horns and loudspeakers proclaiming: “Let’s vote for the president!”

The focus is on whether the opposition can take more than a third of the 165 seats up for grabs, which would mean the socialist leader would need support from his foes for major changes to laws.

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