Maduro says vote ‘irregularities’ being probed
CARACAS: Embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who lost control of Venezuela’s National Assembly in polls earlier this month, said that fraud had marred the vote, which was being investigated.
“I am not going to release preliminary results of the investigation. There were a lot of things going on. Buying people’s votes, control of members of polling station teams and entire polling station teams,” Maduro said on his weekly television show. “Criminals were buying votes. There was a plan,” Maduro added on VTV state TV.
The president claimed the result of the December 6 legislative polls — in which the opposition alliance MUD won control of the National Assembly for the first time in 16 years — was “circumstantial.”
Maduro said he would soon reveal what he called the opposition’s “plan” to the nation, along with evidence.
He did not immediately say when.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court accepted appeals lodged by Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela against the election of eight opposition lawmakers.
The opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), has accused the leftist ruling party of violating “the people’s will” by trying to roll back its gains, which it says were won fairly.
The opposition won 112 of 167 seats in the elections, a dramatic blow to Maduro and the “revolution” launched in 1999 by his late predecessor Hugo Chavez. — AFP