Maduro re-elected as Venezuelan President

Caracas, (IANS) Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has won the election, claiming a second six-year term, in a vote marred by an opposition boycott and alleged foul play, media reported on Monday.

With more than 90 per cent of the votes counted on Sunday, 55-year-old Maduro had 67.7 per cent, 5.8 million votes, the BBC reported quoting National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena as saying.

The main opposition candidate, Henri Falcon won 21.2 per cent, 1.8 million votes, she said. Falcon rejected the result soon after the polls closed, saying, “We do not recognise this electoral process as valid. We have to have new elections in Venezuela.”

The early reports said turnout for the controversial vote was unusually low, about 46 per cent of the electorate.

Falcon had earlier alleged that the vote had been rigged in Maduro’s favour, by abuse of the scanning of state-issued benefits card, used for accessing food.

Government officials said the polls were “free and fair” but most of the opposition had joined a boycott.

The elections were supposed to be held in December 2018, but the National Constituent Assembly, made up exclusively of Maduro’s supporters, brought them forward.

Medaram Jathara

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