CARACAS – The Venezuelan opposition insisted on Monday that the gubernatorial elections held on Sunday were fraudulent and called on the international community to exert more pressure against the Nicolas Maduro government.
“The regime took the path of fraud, violence, irregularity, manipulation, opportunism, corruption, cheating, extortion, coercion and blackmail to distort and ignore the will of our people,” a statement from the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) read.
The coalition’s spokesperson, Angel Oropeza, said at a press conference that they have detected “a large number of irregularities” during Sunday’s elections across the country.
According to him, a million voters were blocked or impeded from voting in the historically pro-opposition centers, while another 350,000 saw “violence and intimidation inside and outside the centers.”
He also pointed out that there were 90,537 spoilt votes “that should have been for the opposition candidates,” and attributed this to the National Electoral Council’s refusal to replace ballots, hence the opposition candidates saw their cards limited.
For this reason, the MUD urged for “the support of the people, parliaments and governments of the world, as well as the highest condemnation, pressure and sanctions against the Nicolas Maduro regime,” and announced that it will send a delegation abroad to explain what happened and its demands.
The opposition also stressed that it will not join “any process of exploration, conversation or negotiation” with the ruling party until the audits of Sunday’s electoral process are delivered.
On the other hand, the first vice-president of the PSUV, Diosdado Cabello, criticized that the opposition talked about fraud without evidence to support this accusation.
The president of the pro-government, supra-constitutional National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Delcy Rodriguez, announced that this body will hold a swearing in ceremony for the declared regional governors winners on Tuesday.
The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won the regional elections in 17 of the country’s 23 states, according to the official statement released Sunday night by the National Electoral Council, while the MUD, which won five governors, did not recognize this result.