Socialists win sweeping elections in Venezuela as free world cries ‘voter fraud’

Socialist candidates have swept to victory in Venezuelan gubernatorial races.

…and “disenchanted and apathetic” voters are NOT happy about it.

In what is being described as “an unforeseen victory,” the socialist party won 17 of 22 races, with one other race too close to call — despite pre-election polls suggesting the opposition would see “widespread victories,” The Associated Press reported.

AP Venezuela Regional Elections
(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Opposition leader Gerardo Blyde is crying foul, saying the official election results were fraudulent, according to the news agency.

“Neither the Venezuelan people nor the world buy that story,” Blyde said.

The opposition wants an audit and are urging Venezuelans to mobilize on the streets to call for one.

More from the AP:

An hour before results were announced, the opposition’s command centers had been filled with smiles and jubilation. Leader Ramon Guillermo Aveledo told a room filled with journalists and supporters that while he couldn’t share the preliminary results, they showed a victory of “historic dimensions” for the Venezuelan people.

Independent pollsters also had projected that opposition candidates would win a majority, if not nearly all offices at a time when the country’s economy is plummeting at depression-era rates, inflation is in triple digits, and crime is rampant.

 

Michael Shifter, president of the US-based Inter-American Dialogue, gave credence to the concerns.

“There is a wide disparity between the poll numbers and the results which show that these elections were not free and fair and don’t reflect the will of the people,” Shifter said.

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AP Carlos Ocariz
(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

But President Nicolás Maduro is down with the results.

Referencing the Hugo Chavez-founded movement, the president proclaimed: “A triumphant victory for Chavismo!”

And while he said he had “absolute faith” in the official results, Maduro said he would ask the constitutional assembly to request an audit,” the AP reported.

…likely by the same people who managed the election.

 

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Tom Tillison

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