Venezuela’s Maduro claims poll victory as opposition cries foul

Venezuela’s Maduro claims poll victory as opposition cries foul

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”.

President Maduro spoke at length on television after the results came out.

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.

For all the talk of the vote being an example of democracy, critics accuse him of voter fraud and intimidation and many don’t believe the official numbers of voter turnout.

This vote highlights just how polarised the country is with a president who ploughs on regardless of the millions of people who object to it.

The anger was palpable on the streets of Caracas on Sunday with crowds of people defying a protest ban and building barricades, awaiting confrontations with police.

It’s a scene we’ve seen for several months now and one that, given the way this vote has gone, we will no doubt see more of.