Maduro de­nies vote fraud claims

New Straits Times - - World -

CARACAS: Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro is go­ing ahead with the in­au­gu­ra­tion of a pow­er­ful new as­sem­bly, al­beit with a 24-hour de­lay, even though the Bri­tish firm hired to han­dle the vote said the turnout fig­ure given by his gov­ern­ment was too high.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Luisa Ortega, an out­spo­ken critic of Maduro, said she had opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into what she called scan­dalous elec­toral fraud.

The op­po­si­tion said it would go ahead yes­ter­day with a big march against the news as­sem­bly, even though the ac­tual swear­ing in has been put off un­til to­day.

Maduro de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions of tram­pling on democ­racy in Venezuela with Sun­day’s con­tro­ver­sial elec­tion for an all-pow­er­ful “Con­stituent As­sem­bly”, dis­miss­ing them as a “re­ac­tion by the in­ter­na­tional en­emy”.

The tech­nol­ogy firm hired to han­dle the vote, Smart­matic, said in a London news con­fer­ence that the of­fi­cial fig­ures from the elec­tion were “tam­pered with” to make turnout ap­pear greater than it was. AFP

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