Venezuela's President Vows To Increase Pressure on Businesses After Local Elections

Socialist wants prices cut


(Reuters)—Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro pledged to deepen his "economic offensive" to force businesses to cut prices after his ruling Socialist Party won most votes in Sunday's municipal elections.

A partial count showed government allies won 49 percent of the votes in 337 mayoral races, compared to 42 percent for the opposition coalition, derailing efforts by Maduro's critics to turn the vote into a plebiscite on his government and the legacy of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro's candidates benefited from his crackdown in November to force merchants to slash prices of goods such as TVs, car parts and home hardware.