Venezuela’s Maduro calls EU election observers ‘spies’

The observers reported polls saw better conditions than previous years, but raised concerns over some practices.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed as “spies” members of a European Union electoral observation mission sent to observe last week’s regional polls.

The condemnation from Maduro came on Sunday after the observers said the polls, in which opposition candidates participated for the first time in four years, were generally better conducted than previous years.

However, they raised concerns over arbitrary bans on candidates for administrative reasons, delays in opening voting centres and “extended use of state resources in the campaign”.

Maduro, whose governing Socialist Party largely swept the gubernatorial and mayoral elections, said the EU observers sought to “stain the electoral process and they couldn’t”.

“A delegation of spies – they weren’t observers – wandered freely around the country, spying on the country’s social, economic and political life,” Maduro said during a broadcast on state television, adding that the elections were “impeccable, beautiful”.

The observer mission did not immediately respond to the claims.

The EU observers deployed to the country for the first time in 15 years as part of several concessions from Maduro’s government to encourage the participation of opposition candidates, who have boycotted all elections in the country since 2018 amid allegations of fraud and intimidation.

The concessions came amid a wider push by Maduro, who was first elected president in 2013, to curry favour with Western powers in hopes of relief from sanctions, which have crippled the country’s already flailing economy.

The US is among dozens of countries that have not recognised Maduro’s presidency since the controversial 2018 national elections, which opposition leader Juan Guaido claimed to have won.

The 1,000-member EU team will present a full report on the elections in two months.

Opposition candidates saw little success in the most recent elections, picking up just three of 23 governorships and 117 mayoral positions to the governing party’s 210 mayoral victories.

Several mayoral races had yet to be called, and one governor’s office – in the heavily Maduro-leaning Barinas state – has also not been called.

Despite the victories, votes for the Socialists dwindled to fewer than four million, according to figures from the country’s electoral authority, down from the 5.9 million it won during regional elections in 2017.

On Sunday, Maduro also said he will hold meetings in “the coming hours” with opposition governors, but did not offer details.



Source link

Latest

‘Go Get Your Bathing Suits!’: Biden Takes a Vacation as Washington Beckons

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — During a week of vacation...

19 dogs seized after Sydney man charged with bestiality, child abuse offences

The man was charged with two counts of possessing...

Harriet Hageman plays up “rigged” 2020 election claim in victory speech

Republican congressional candidate Harriet...

Elon Musk claims he plans to buy Manchester United

If there is one thing people can expect from...

Russia ministry says economic slump less severe than feared

Economy ministry says gross domestic product to shrink 4.2 percent this year amid sanctions over the war in Ukraine.Russia’s economy will contract less than...

Ukraine nuclear power company says Russia attacked website

Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom says Russian-based hackers launched major attack on its website.Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom said Russian-based hackers launched...

Is William Ruto up to his new job?

Video Duration 25 minutes 10 seconds 25:10 From: Inside StoryKenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has secured a narrow victory over opposition leader Raila...