CARACAS – Venezuela’s governing regime claimed 305 mayoral seats out of the 335 city councils nationwide in Sunday’s municipal elections, according to the results released on Monday by President Nicolas Maduro.
“Of the 335 city councils, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) have consolidated the triumph in 305 city councils, 91 percent,” Maduro said at the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas.
The opposition secured its victory in 25 towns while the local parties won in the remaining five, the president said during the meeting with the elected mayors.
The ruling alliance did not see victory in Merida, the capital of the state of same name, and San Cristobal, the capital of the Tachira state, even though it had advantages over the opposition after three of the four main opposition parties refused to participate in the Sunday elections citing a lack of trust in the National Electoral Council (CNE).
Juan Andres Mejia, leader of the Popular Will (VP), one of the three opposition parties boycotting the elections, said “it is very difficult for us to qualify (the elections) as an electoral event (...), it was an electoral farce.”
He added that polling stations opened at noon and “closed at 3 in the afternoon” (1900 GMT), three hours before the scheduled closing time.
Mejia alleged that other polling stations were open until 9 pm (0000 GMT) to increase the participation rate.
“The abstention yesterday was the largest in recent years (...) those who did not vote yesterday did not do so out of laziness or unwillingness, on the contrary, they did so as a form of complaint,” he said.
Maduro revealed later on Sunday that “47.36 percent of the electoral roll,” or 9,281,257 voters had voted.
The members of the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (CEELA), invited by the CNE, assured that the mayoral elections in Venezuela had complied with “international standards and national legislation.”