Venezuela’s vote tally to be re­viewed

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

CARA­CAS: The Na­tional Elec­toral Coun­cil in Venezuela has been asked to com­plete an au­dit of the elec­toral process af­ter Sun­day’s vote, said the head of the cam­paign for the Na­tional Con­stituent As­sem­bly, Jorge Ro­driguez.

The move came as Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro on Wed­nes­day swore in the 545-mem­ber as­sem­bly tasked to amend the con­sti­tu­tion.

The swear­ing-in fol­lowed an elec­tion for the as­sem­bly on Sun­day which was boy­cotted by op­po­si­tion par­ties.

They claimed the pres­i­dent was try­ing to con­sol­i­date power.

Maduro called for a con­stituent as­sem­bly in May to amend the con­sti­tu­tion in a bid to over­come a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis that has paral­ysed the coun­try, but which seems to have deep­ened po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sions.

Ro­driguez said the only valid re­sults of the elec­tion were those pro­vided by the Na­tional Elec­toral Coun­cil, which orig­i­nally counted 8 089 320 votes.

Maduro said he had asked for the bal­lot count.

Ear­lier An­to­nio Mug­ica, the di­rec­tor of Smart­matic, a Venezue­lan tech­no­log­i­cal plat­form for vot­ing, said it had de­tected “ma­nip­u­la­tion of the par­tic­i­pa­tion data” dur­ing the poll.

Mug­ica claimed to have iden­ti­fied “a dif­fer­ence be­tween the announced fig­ure and the num­ber pro­duced by the sys­tem (of) at least a mil­lion vot­ers”.

Ro­driguez said there could be strong pres­sure on Smart­matic com­pany’s lead­er­ship by in­ter­na­tional pow­ers, which had po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness in­ter­ests in Venezuela.

“He is con­tra­dict­ing his own state­ments (on pre­vi­ous pro­cesses).

“More­over, his com­pany pro­vides ser­vices which do not re­place in any way Venezuela’s elec­toral power,” he said.

Ro­driguez re­ferred to in­con­sis­ten­cies in the “war of fig­ures” be­tween op­po­si­tion lead­ers, whose data on a sup­posed elec­toral fraud con­tra­dict each other.

He said that de­spite vi­o­lent ac­tions pro­moted by sec­tors of the op­po­si­tion on Sun­day, the elec­toral event had been suc­cess­ful. teleSUR and Xin­hua

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