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[WATCH] Surprise win for Venezuela’s ruling party, opposition protests

Democratic Unity calls for audit and “street activities” after Socialist party declares victory

16 October 2017, 3:13pm
Nicolas Maduro's government won majority of governorships
Nicolas Maduro's government won majority of governorships
Despite all polls predicting otherwise, officials announced a victory for the ruling party, which scored 17 governorships, while the opposition took five.

The opposition has rejected the election outcome and has claimed it to be a result of fraud.

Fears of a rigged election were already present in the days prior to voting, and the opposition accused the government of efforts to suppress votes by moving over 200 voting sites.

On Sunday, officials were accused of failing to open polling stations on time. However, the voter turnout was 61% – with 55% being considered ‘normal’. The party’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, said that this is the highest turnout in 10 years.

Mr. Maduro has denied accusations that he is a dictator following months of political turmoil in the country – a situation which has caused violent protests responsible for over 120 deaths.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Venezuela's former attorney general, who was removed from her post this summer, says she has enough proof for a human rights case against Maduro.

Venezuela is currently close to its fourth year of economic crisis, experiencing food shortages and, since last month, a lack of propane gas.

However, the elections ran smoothly and free of protests, save for criticism related to the government’s alleged acts of voter suppression.

The opposition leaders have encouraged candidates to organise “street activities” in protest, but are yet to produce evidence of fraud.