Canada, Lima Group members will not recognize result of contested Venezuelan election

Canada, Lima Group members will not recognize result of contested Venezuelan election

Maduro, of the ruling United Socialist Party, beat Henri Falcon of the Advanced Progressive Party, with 68 percent of the vote, which was pushed back from late April to give opposition candidates more time to campaign.

The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition has won support from the United States, the European Union and 14 countries of the Lima Group who called for the vote to be postponed.

From Germany to Chile, leaders across the world said they will not recognize Venezuela's Sunday elections as legitimate and voiced intentions to ramp up sanctions against the government of president Maduro, who just secured another six-year term. A total of 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, putting turnout at 46.01 percent, much lower than 2013 presidential elections when over 80 percent voters turned to the polling stations.

Maduro, setting an example for government supporters who he called on to vote early, cast his ballot in Caracas shortly after fireworks and loud speakers blasting a military hymn roused Venezuelans from sleep around 5 a.m. local time.

The opposition, a part of which boycotted the elections, stated that the ballot was accompanied with massive violations.

Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon said he would not recognize Sunday's election because of irregularities including the placing of almost 13,000 pro-government stands close to polling stations.

"In the opposition, personal desires weighed more than a real desire to get Maduro out and that's what the people see".

Turnout in the previous three presidential elections averaged around 79 percent.


The election has drawn broad criticism since some of Maduro's most-popular rivals were barred from running, and several more were forced into exile.

Pshenichnikov stressed that the refusal to recognize the Venezuelan election's results, expressed by the USA and a number of Latin American countries, came as no surprise.

He said Mr Maduro must allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela and that the U.S. will not "sit idly by". Election officials said they would address the claims.

Nearly 75 percent of households said they received government-issued food boxes in the past three months, according to Datanalisis, and Maduro on the stump has promised that the 16.5 million holders of the fledgling fatherland card will be rewarded for their vote. But it's safe to say that the winners were whoever Castro's Cuba-which runs Venezuela-decided they would be.

The government has set up so-called red point zones near polling stations so Venezuelans can scan their state-issued "fatherland cards" used to receive benefits including food boxes and money transfers.

In response, many opposition leaders called for an election boycott. "You seek treatment", said Nayra Martinez, a city employee in the wealthy Caracas district of Chacao who chose to buck her party's call to abstain.

Turnout figures in last year's elections for a constitutional assembly, which the opposition also boycotted, were inflated by at least 1 million votes, according to the company that provided technology for Venezuela's electronic voting machines for more than a decade. "That's what we need to do with our country".

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