Venezuelans vote Sunday in state elections seen as a test of President Nicolás Maduro’s willingness to share power. But with polls showing the ruling socialists at risk of landslide losses, the authoritarian government appears to be falling back on a trifecta of tactics. Manipulation, confusion and fear. Two and a half months after the creation of a super-congress that gave the government nearly absolute power, Maduro has called the vote for state governors clear evidence that democracy remains alive here. But opposition leaders see a dirty campaign by the Venezuelan government, which President Trump has denounced as a “socialist dictatorship.” State media is airing almost round-the-clock supportive coverage of pro-government candidates, while portraying their challengers as hypocritical and inept. All candidates, meanwhile, are being limited to four minutes of political ads per day on independent networks that now survive by self-censoring.Full Article: Venezuela election will test Maduro's commitment to democracy - The Washington Post.
Articles about voting issues in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Venezuela’s opposition is shifting its focus to forthcoming state elections as protests aimed at ousting President Nicolas Maduro have subsided following the installation of an all-powerful, pro-government legislative body. Four months of violent demonstrations in which at least 125 people were killed have all but stopped due to fatigue among protesters and disillusionment at seeing the ruling Socialist Party cement vast powers despite the concerted opposition push. Most opposition leaders say October’s elections for governors in all the country’s 23 states now represent the best means to keep pressuring Maduro, providing a chance to win some of the governorships at stake and an opportunity for a protest vote to demonstrate the president’s unpopularity.Full Article: Venezuelan opposition pins hopes on elections as protests falter.
The Venezuelan government reported false turnout figures for its contentious election over the weekend, announcing a tally that had been altered by at least one million votes, a software company involved in setting up voting systems for the country said on Wednesday. “We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated,” the company, Smartmatic, said in a statement. The vote was part of an ambitious plan by the government to consolidate power. President Nicolás Maduro instructed Venezuelans to select from a list of trusted allies of the governing party — including his wife — who will rewrite the nation’s Constitution and rule Venezuela with virtually unlimited authority until they finish their work.Full Article: Venezuela Reported False Election Turnout, Voting Company Says - The New York Times.
Venezuela: Election results ‘manipulated’ by at least 1 million votes, polling company says | The Washington Post
Election results decried by government opponents as a brazen power grab were manipulated by at least 1 million votes, the company that provided Venezuela with its voting system said Wednesday. Antonio Mugica, chief executive of London-based Smartmatic, which has provided technology for Venezuelan elections since 2004, said it detected an inflated turnout figure Sunday through the nation’s automated balloting system. “With the deepest regret, we have to say that the turnout data presented on Sunday, July 30 for the constituent election was manipulated,” Mugica said at a news conference in London. His company’s analysis of the data, Mugica said, suggested an inflated number of “at least 1 million” — a potentially important difference that would allow the government to claim a higher turnout than an opposition-held unofficial ballot last month.Full Article: Venezuela election results ‘manipulated’ by at least 1 million votes, polling company says - The Washington Post.
Turnout figures in Venezuela’s Constitutional Assembly election were manipulated up by least 1 million votes, Smartmatic, a company which has worked with Venezuela since 2004 on its voting system, said on Wednesday. “We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said at a news briefing in London. Mugica said Smartmatic, which has provided electronic voting technology for elections around the world, was able to detect the overstated officially announced turnout because of Venezuela’s automated election system. “We estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by authorities is at least 1 million votes,” he said.Full Article: Venezuelan election turnout figures manipulated by one million votes: election company.
On Sunday, Venezuelans took to the streets to either vote in or boycott a controversial election to choose members of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly. The new assembly will be made up completely of government supporters but will have authority over the lives of all Venezuelans. The vote came in the midst of a constitutional crisis. For four months, there have been widespread protests, repression and failed negotiations as the government of President Nicolás Maduro battles the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition. Here are five key questions and answers about Sunday’s vote. The government said it was to bring peace to the conflicted country, but it was widely seen as a move to avoid holding other scheduled elections that the government expected to lose — including elections for governors and mayors in 2017 and for president in 2018.Full Article: Venezuela’s controversial new Constituent Assembly, explained - The Washington Post.
President Nicolas Maduro says 8 million Venezuelans cast ballots on Sunday in an election that will give his leftist government more power, but experts say the voting was rife with irregularities and opposition leaders are crying foul. The official vote tally is similar to those seen in victories won by late President Hugo Chavez when he was at the peak of his popularity, and tens of thousands of ecstatic red-shirted Venezuelans danced and cheered at the presidential palace when he was re-elected. During the weekend vote to elect members of a constituent assembly, many streets were deserted and the opposition boycotted the vote championed by Maduro, who is widely blamed for an unprecedented economic meltdown marked by food shortages, runaway inflation and spiraling poverty levels.Full Article: Opposition leaders, election experts decry Venezuela vote.
Electoral officials in Venezuela say turnout in the controversial election for a constituent assembly was 41.5%, a figure disputed by the opposition. The opposition coalition said 88% of voters abstained and it refused to recognise the election. It also called for more protests on Monday. Sunday’s election was marred by violence, with widespread protests and at least 10 people killed.
President Nicolás Maduro hailed the poll as a “vote for the revolution”. It was a victory speech for him and his followers but after a day of violence on the streets it’s a pretty hollow victory – if you can even call it that.
Venezuela: Amid clashes US warns that Venezuela is heading for dictatorship after ‘sham’ election | The Guardian
The United States has vowed to take strong and swift action against the “architects of authoritarianism” in Venezuela after protesters and security forces fought deadly street battles during voting for President Nicolás Maduro’s controversial constitutional assembly. “The United States stands by the people of Venezuela, and their constitutional representatives, in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” the US State Department said in a statement. “We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the national constituent assembly as a result of today’s flawed election,” it said. Many voters decided against taking part in an election the opposition said would turn the country into a full-fledged dictatorship.Full Article: Venezuela heading for dictatorship after 'sham' election, warns US amid clashes | World news | The Guardian.
At least nine people, including an election candidate, have been killed in the past 24 hours in Venezuela as the country voted for an all-powerful new legislative body tasked with reforming the constitution. Country’s opposition parties boycotted Sunday’s polls, which they say is aimed at consolidating President Nicolas Maduro’s power. Counting of ballots across Venezuela began on Sunday night after the voting was extended by an hour. Preliminary results were expected before the end of the day. Shootings at protests killed a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old in the western state of Tachira. A soldier was also shot dead there. The death toll also included a 30-year-old regional leader of a youth opposition party in the northeast town of Cumana and two protesters in the western state of Merida.Full Article: Venezuela constitutional vote marred by violence, death | Venezuela News | Al Jazeera.
Venezuela’s beleaguered government appeared prepared to go ahead with a vote on Sunday that critics at home and abroad have warned will seal the demise of the oil-rich nation’s democracy. At least five people were killed last week after the opposition stepped up its protests against the controversial vote that will elect a 545-member constituent assembly with the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions. A government ban on public demonstrations in the run-up to the election reduced turnouts for nationwide protests called by the opposition, but sporadic looting and clashes between protesters manning barricades of tree branches and barbed wire were reported in several cities on Friday night. Despite the continuing threat of repression, the opposition coalition, known as MUD, called for mass demonstrations in Caracas on Sunday while voting takes place.Full Article: Venezuela to vote on constituent assembly after months of protests | World news | The Guardian.
Venezuela’s partisan divide is so deep and bitter that even the ID requirements for voters in Sunday’s critical elections have sparked controversy. Critics who fear the government of leftist President Nicolas Maduro wants to use the vote to push through a new constitution to keep him in power are questioning not just the motive but also the method of the national vote. When Venezuelans vote on Sunday to elect members of a constituent assembly, they will use special government-issued ID cards that have two numbers on the back. Plugged into the electoral system database, the numbers generate the identities of two people, said Gabriela Febres-Cordero, a former minister of trade for Venezuela.Full Article: Nicolas Maduro's Venezuela assembly vote method raises more worry - Washington Times.
Tensions are near breaking point in Venezuela ahead of a vote on 30 July which the beleaguered president, Nicolás Maduro, says will stabilize the flailing country – home to the world’s largest oil reserves – and which the opposition describes as a bald-faced power grab. Maduro has convened a national vote to elect a Constituent Assembly to redraft the country’s constitution. 364 members of the assembly will be chosen by local polls open to all registered voters. The remaining 181 members will be elected by members of seven social sectors, including pensioners, indigenous groups, businesspeople, peasants and students. The opposition has vowed to boycott the 30 July vote, which means voter turnout will be exclusively pro-government – and likely very low, given that Maduro’s approval rating hovers around 20%.Full Article: Venezuela to vote amid crisis: all you need to know | World news | The Guardian.
Gunmen in Venezuela shot into a crowd of voters on Sunday, activists said, killing one woman and wounding three others during an unofficial referendum organised by the opposition to push for an end to two decades of socialist rule. The opposition Democratic Unity coalition said a pro-government “paramilitary” gang opened fire in Caracas’ poor neighbourhood of Catia, where thousands were participating in the event. Video footage showed people scattering as gunshots rang out, many taking sanctuary inside a church. “The day was stained by the killing of a Venezuelan woman who was protesting and exercising her rights,” said opposition leader Freddy Guevara of the killing of Xiomara Escot. “But violence cannot hide what has happened. The people are not afraid and are clear in their decision.“Full Article: Venezuela: woman shot dead as thousands vote in unofficial referendum | World news | The Guardian.
Millions of Venezuelans signaled their disapproval of President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to hold a constituent assembly by casting ballots on Sunday in a vote unlike any other in this nation’s history. More than 98 percent of voters sided with the opposition in answering three yes-or-no questions drafted with the aim of weakening Mr. Maduro’s legitimacy days before his constituent assembly is expected to convene. Opponents see the assembly as a power grab by an increasingly unpopular leader and fear he may use it to do away with democratic elections. Sunday’s exercise, known as a popular consultation, was organized by a slate of opposition parties that dominate Venezuela’s National Assembly.Full Article: Venezuelans Rebuke Their President by a Staggering Margin - The New York Times.
Venezuelan National Electoral Council, CNE, President Tibisay Lucena on Wednesday rejected calls by the right-wing opposition to boycott National Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for July 30. Lucena said that despite the call for violent protests by the opposition, the electoral body will guarantee citizens their right to participate by providing security throughout the election. The CNE official said opposition supporters are allowed to be against the National Constituent Assembly, but can’t impede other Venezuelans from voting. “An electoral process can not be prevented, it’s an attack to the very heart of democracy and human rights,” Lucena said. “I am sure that peace will prevail on July 30.”Full Article: Venezuela Electoral Chief Rejects Constituent Assembly Boycott | News | teleSUR English.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday urged officials to schedule an election to pick a new constituent assembly for July 30, but an emboldened opposition immediately called for a nationwide sit-in to protest against the move. Maduro on Sunday insisted that electing a new assembly to rewrite the constitution was the only way to end weeks of deadly protests, and turn a corner on Venezuela’s worsening political and economic crisis. In a televised speech he hailed what he said was a record number of people who registered to run as candidates in the vote. “Never has there been such a level of petitions and participation as there is in this case,” Maduro said. However, opponents have called the process a farce. They believe it is skewed to favour Maduro’s leftist authoritarian government, and have promised to boycott the vote.Full Article: Maduro pushes new Venezuela vote, opposition calls for massive sit-in - France 24.
The United States denounced the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday for suppressing protests and called for free elections, saying that he must not be allowed to follow a “dictatorship” path like Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. The Maduro government calls the protesters violent coup-mongers, supported by the United States. “This is an economic, political and humanitarian crisis that demands the world’s attention,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told a U.S.-hosted panel of Venezuelan activists and experts held on the sidelines of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.Full Article: U.S. denounces Venezuela for repression, demands free elections | Reuters.
The national Constituent Assembly will be made up of 540 members, including representatives of regions and sectors.
Venezuelans hoping to become representatives in the national Constituent Assembly can now register, while nominations of candidates have been scheduled to take place between June 6 and 10, electoral authorities announced Tuesday. Tibisay Lucena, director of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, known as CNE, detailed the timeline and opened the floor to questions about the new voting process during a press conference in Caracas.
Faced with mounting unrest, Venezuela’s unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Tuesday to push ahead in July with the formation of a “constituent assembly” to rewrite the constitution before regional elections in December. The South American OPEC member has been racked by strife, with 55 people killed during unrest in the past two months as public anger boiled over due to an economic meltdown that has left many Venezuelans scrabbling to afford three meals a day. In an apparent bid to show the government was seeking a democratic solution, the head of the pro-government electoral council said voting for a controversial “constituent assembly” would be held in late July.Full Article: As Venezuela unrest spreads, Maduro presses on with plans to rewrite charter | Reuters.