The National Electoral Council of Venezuela (CNE) announced Sunday the victory of Nicolas Maduro in the presidential elections, in which a part of the opposition did not participate.
According to the electoral body, with more than 90% of the votes counted, Maduro won with 5,823,728 votes (67.7%) in a day that registered a low participation of 46.01% that also became the protagonist.
In second place was the opposition candidate and ex-governor Henri Falcon, with 1,820,552 votes (21.2%).
The third candidate and evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci obtained 925,042 votes.
Falcon declared before the announcement of the official results that he does not recognize the process and that “we must make new elections in Venezuela.”
The rector of the CNE Tibisay Lucena said, however, that the election results “must be respected.”
The elections took place in the middle of the worst economic crisis the country is going through in its recent history.
The traditional opposition called for a boycott of the process by arguing unfair conditions due to the disqualification of its main leaders and parties and doubts about the CNE, which it accuses of being partisan.
President Nicolas Maduro, who was elected in 2013 after the death of Commander Hugo Chavez, will govern for a period of six more years (2019-2025).
“How much I have been underestimated”
In his victory speech, Maduro said: “We won again, we triumphed again.”
“We are the force of history turned into a popular victory, a permanent popular victory,” he added.
After a round of applause from his followers in downtown Caracas, the president said: “How much I have underestimated …”
In his speech, Maduro stressed that no more elections are planned in Venezuela until 2020, so he will dedicate himself to attacking the country’s economic problems, he said.
He also said that he would summon the candidates who competed against him in the elections and the opposition leaders who promoted abstention from dialogue in order to face the crisis the country is experiencing.
Abstention also wins in Venezuela: the analysis of the Early In Time correspondent, Daniel Garcia Marco
In the middle of the afternoon, inside the chavism, the triumph was taken for granted, but they were worried about a low participation of between 50% and 55%.
In the end it was less, 46.01%, according to the first data of the National Electoral Council (CNE), a very low figure for a presidential election.
The average participation in the last three presidential elections (2006, 2012 and 2013) was over 79%, according to the data of Eugenio Martinez, an expert journalist in electoral processes.
That participation of 46.01% would be high in other countries of the region, but it is scarce in Venezuela, where this type of presidential election -without a second round- attracts great interest from the census.
The disenchantment and the lack of confidence in Venezuela were also reflected this Sunday in the presidential elections, held in the middle of the worst crisis in recent history.
Nicolas Maduro was re-elected, but the abstention also triumphed.
The low participation is a success for that part of the opposition that called for the boycott because it considered that the conditions for a fair process were not given, reinforced by the denunciations this Sunday of the candidate Henri Falcón , the second most voted.
But the low turnout shows that not only the opposition but also the supporters of Maduro abstained.
The result was a blow to the intention expressed by Maduro in the campaign to reach ten million votes, a figure that the charismatic Chavez could never achieve in moments of economic boom.
In the July 30 election of the National Constituent Assembly, the ruling party, which competed without rivals, exceeded eight million votes, according to the CNE.
In 2013, Maduro beat Henrique Capriles with more than seven million votes.
The abstention will reinforce the idea of the United States, Canada, the European Union and more than a dozen Latin American countries not recognizing the results and possibly extending the sanctions.
It remains to be seen what the opposition will do with that data in the future. Before and during the campaign, she has once again been divided and without a leader, a role that Falcon may now wish to assume, whose denunciation speech once again coincides with that of the abstentionists.
Henri Falcon, considered as the main rival of Maduro in these elections, denounced that the Venezuelan government authorized “red points” in the vicinity of the electoral centers in order to “buy votes”.
In said kiosks, said Falcon, the State “had offered payments and surprise bonuses” in what it denounced as a “violation of the guarantee agreement subscribed and the Constitution.”
More than a dozen countries threatened not to recognize the election results on Sunday and to apply more sanctions against the Maduro Executive.
The governments of Panama and Chile spoke after the announcement of the CNE to ignore the validity of the elections.
The Bolivian government Evo Morales, on the other hand, congratulated President Maduro after his re-election: “The sovereign Venezuelan people have triumphed again,” he wrote on Twitter.
Hours before the announcement of the CNE, the US government had warned that it would not admit the result and the secretary of state of that country, Mike Pompeo, had described the election as “fraudulent”.
President Maduro promised in his victory speech that in the next six years of government will be dedicated “to the cleaning of the economy” and the “persecution of criminal mafias.”
In the first presidential term of Maduro there was an acute economic crisis that caused shortages of medicines and food and unleashed the highest inflation in the world.
The president points as responsible for the economic decline to an “economic war” led by powers such as the United States.
The opposition accuses him of mismanagement due to corruption and economic mismanagement.
During his government, in addition, the European Union, the United States and other countries have imposed mainly economic sanctions against officials, such as Maduro himself, and state oil company PDVSA, the country’s only source of income.
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