Opponents slam Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's election victory as a sham

22 May, 2018, 08:56 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Venezuela Nicholas Maduro re-elected as President

The opposition throughout the day argued that a Maduro victory would lack legitimacy because many voters stayed home, heeding the call to boycott an election seen as rigged. Turnout was under 50%.

Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) announced on Sunday the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro with 67.7 percent of the vote.

As the results were being announced, residents of downtown Caracas just a few blocks from where Maduro supporters were celebrating banged on pots and pans in protest. The country now finds itself in the middle of a financial crisis, and the International Monetary Fund expects inflation in Venezuela to reach 13,000% in 2018.

Venezuela Nicholas Maduro re-elected as President

"Venezuela's so-called elections today are not legitimate", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Twitter. Even as voting was taking place on Sunday, a senior U.S. official said the Trump administration might press ahead on threats of imposing crippling oil sanctions, and secretary of state Mike Pompeo warned "sham elections change nothing".

The Costa Rican Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement arguing that the Venezuelan electoral process presented "flaws from its genesis and did not comply with the global standards of a pluralist, free, democratic and transparent electoral process". "Spain and its European partners will study appropriate measures and continueto work to alleviate Venezuelans' suffering", tweeted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The Lima Group, which was created a year ago to deal with the crisis in Venezuela, called on authorities in each of its countries to notify the financial sector about the risks of engaging in business with the Venezuelan government and urge global entities not to issue Venezuela new credit.

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The government of Spain added its voice to a chorus of worldwide condemnation, promising to join its European counterparts to study "opportune measures" in response. Some American officials have hinted at the desirability of a coup, but it seems misguided to view as a democratic savior a security service indoctrinated in socialist and anti-American thinking, armed and trained by Russia, China and Cuba, active in drug trafficking, and responsible for killing Venezuelan citizens.

Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro won the Sunday election, receiving over 5.8 mln votes, while his main rival Henri Falcon, representing the Progressive Advance party, garnered about 1.8 mln votes. They underestimated me. Never before has a presidential candidate taken 68 percent of the popular vote. Suggesting turnout was even lower, an electoral board source told Reuters 32.3 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots by 6 pm (6am Monday Singapore time) as most polls shut. He also accused Maduro's government of rationing food parcels "selectively" to manipulate hungry citizens' votes.

Falcon called for a new vote, complaining about the government's placing of almost 13,000 pro-government stands called "red spots" close to polling stations nationwide. It has also limited transactions involving Venezuelan bonds and the country's new cryptocurrency.

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At the Red Spot, voters presented the special identity card used to receive the food boxes and other services and gave their names to workers who were keeping lists of those who had voted.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, called on those leaders to collectively reject the Venezuela vote and praised the administration for imposing additional sanctions against the Maduro regime. "I'm the president of all of the Venezuelans".

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