Venezuela‘s President Nicolas Maduro comfortably won re-election in a controversial vote on Sunday, the election board said, though his main rivals both declared the poll illegitimate due to alleged widespread irregularities.
Turnout at the election was just 46.1 percent, the election board said, way down from the 80 percent registered at the last presidential vote in 2013, due to a boycott by Venezuela’s mainstream opposition.
Candidate Henri Falcon said he would not recognize Sunday’s election because of irregularities including the placing of nearly 13,000 pro-government stands close to polling stations.
Abstention promoted by the mainstream opposition, which said the vote was rigged in advance in favor of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro, had also harmed his cause, Falcon told reporters after polls had closed and formal results were awaited.
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As results came out, Maduro supporters let off fireworks in poor Caracas neighborhoods and danced to Latin pop around the downtown Miraflores presidential palace. He took 5.8 million votes, versus 1.8 for his nearest rival Henri Falcon, the board said.