Venezuela’s ruling socialists won a surprise majority in Sunday’s gubernatorial elections, prompting the opposition to refuse to accept the results and call on its supporters to take to the streets.
Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), announced that the ruling party (PSUV) swept the regional elections, winning 17 of the 23 the governorships, with a turnout of more than 61 percent.
The results were unexpected after food shortages and inflation. Opinion polls had suggested the opposition would easily win a majority, with one survey predicting victory in 18 of the governorates.
Opposition leaders decried irregularities, calling for “street activities” on Monday and demanding a full audit of the 23 governor races. The leaders did not immediately offer evidence of fraud.
“We do not recognise any of the results at this time. We are facing a very serious moment for the country,” Gerardo Blyde, the opposition election campaign chief said on Sunday.
It is unclear whether opposition supporters will take to the streets after months of protests failed to pressure the government into holding an early election or accepting humanitarian aid.
“When they lose, they cry fraud. When they win, they shout ‘Down with Maduro’. Chavismo is alive, in the streets and triumphant,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said, adding that he was ordering a full audit of the elections in what he said was evidence of transparency.
“Maybe we’ll recover those … governorships that we lost,” he added.
Online, #Fraude (“fraud”), #PSUV (the ruling socialist party), #Tibisay, and #VenezuelaVictoriaPopular (“Venezuela’s popular victory”) trended on social media in Venezuela, with many pointing to fraud, while others were celebrating victory.
Some supporters of the opposition, including Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, questioned the election results.
H/t reader squodgy:
“See what I mean?
American/zionist Hegemony is only serving the .001 of the 1%.
We know that is NOT RIGHT or JUST.
Mixed economies work.”
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