Venezuela voter count was fraudulent, says voting firm

03 Août, 2017, 05:40 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Venezuela voter count was fraudulent, says voting firm

"Clearly what we want to see is for Venezuela to return to its constitution, return to its scheduled elections, and allow the people of Venezuela to have the voice in their government they deserve", Tillerson told members of the press.

The president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Julio Borges, said Smartmatic's findings are "complete confirmation" of what the opposition and election analysts had suspected.

More than 120 people have been killed in the protests, drawing global condemnation of the security forces' heavy-handed tactics.

The European Union's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc's 28 member states could not recognise the constituent assembly "as they have concerns over its effective representativeness and legitimacy".

The British firm that supplied Venezuela's voting technology, Smartmatic, said in a London news conference on Wednesday that the official figures from the election were "tampered with" to make turnout appear greater than it was.

The US will hold Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, "personally responsible" for the safety of two opposition leaders, President Donald Trump said in a statement.

"We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated", Mugica told reporters. Wednesday, the firm that provided the voting machines announced that it already has evidence of at least 1 million falsified votes. That's just over 8 million people.

Venezuela's electoral council extended voting to 7 PM, but election experts said doubling the vote in the last hour and a half would be without precedent.

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It was an "opinion from a firm whose only role in the electoral process is to provide certain services and technical support that had no bearing on the results", she added. This is being met with derision, particularly by the opposition that says the number was closer to 2 to 3 million people.

But majority members of the National Assembly led by Borges insist that they are the legitimate legislators and that they will take their seats at the palace as they normally do. But many Venezuelans rejected those figures, pointing to the absence of lines or crowds at polling places.

The arrests came as leaders of Venezuela's opposition-dominated legislature called for citizens to help defend the National Assembly, and welcomed a surge of worldwide support, as Maduro seeks to rewrite the country's constitution.

Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica announced the discrepancy Wednesday but did not say whether his company's figures were higher or lower than the officially reported turnout.

The leftist president moved swiftly to consolidate his authority after the election.

Security forces and pro-government motorbike gangs were active in confronting public signs of dissent. More than 120 people have been killed since the unrest began in April.

The European Union is refusing to recognize Venezuela's new assembly tasked with rewriting the constitution, saying it could undermine the country's institutions.

"It is therefore with the deepest regret that we have to report that the turnout figures on Sunday, 30 July, for the Constituent Assembly in Venezuela were tampered with", he said. Some EU nations and officials were urging sanctions, but that step had not yet been taken. All of Maduro's assets in the United States are frozen and Americans are forbidden from doing any business with him.


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