Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has shrugged off international condemnation and allegations of vote buying and electoral fraud to claim a second six-year term at the helm of his crisis-stricken nation. Addressing crowds of supporters outside the presidential palace in Caracas on Sunday night, Maduro hailed the “impeccable electoral process” that had returned him to power with 67.7% of the vote. … Venezuela’s election board put turnout at just 46.1%, way down from the 80% registered at the last presidential vote in 2013, due to a boycott by Venezuela’s mainstream opposition.
Tibisay Lucena, the head of Venezuela’s electoral commission, told reporters Maduro had received more than 5.8m votes compared to the 1.8m of his nearest rival, Henri Falcón.
As results came out, Maduro supporters reportedly let off fireworks in poor Caracas neighbourhoods and danced to Latin pop around the downtown Miraflores presidential palace.
But even before Maduro’s victory speech, domestic opponents and much of the international community were denouncing the election as a “fraud foretold”.