Venezuela election 'tampered with', says voting firm

Venezuela election 'tampered with', says voting firm

It says the official figures from the election were tampered with to make turnout appear greater than it was.

"We estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by authorities is at least one million votes", he said.

It is created to give Maduro powers to rewrite the constitution and sideline the opposition-led congress.

Tibisay Lucena, the pro-government president of Venezuela's election council, dismissed the allegations and threatened to sue Smartmatic.

The documents, which break the data down into Venezuela's 14,515 polling centers, show that 3,720,465 people had voted by 5:30 p.m.

President Nicolas Maduro responded to Mugica's claims by accusing Smartmatic of bowing to United States pressure.

Antonio Mugica told reporters in London on Wednesday that there was a discrepancy of 1 million votes between the turnout figures announced by the government and those recorded by his systems. "I say it was more than 10 million".

On Wednesday, Smartmatic said that although Venezuela's election process includes a series of auditing systems that are impossible to circumvent, no election monitors from the opposition were present to watch for evidence as it came in.

The low turnout would be a major indictment of Maduro, especially after the opposition last month held its own unofficial vote in which it said more than 7.5 million voted against the government's controversial assembly.

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The global community has condemned the controversial vote, which it says has consolidated the ruling party΄s powers by allowing select allies of the president to rewrite the country΄s constitution.

Venezuela has used electronic voting machines for more than a decade.

The head of voting technology company Smartmatic has said that the National Electoral Council's voter turnout number was off by at least 1 million, raising fresh doubts over the veracity over the results. "Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ledzema are political prisoners being held illegally by the regime. we reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners".

Mr Aissami said the results of Sunday's election to the national constituent assembly, which was boycotted by the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) coalition, had been validated and the 545 delegates would soon meet.

The Constituent Assembly has powers to dissolve the National Assembly if it deems fit. "Recent actions culminating in yesterday's seizure of absolute power through the sham election of the National Constituent Assembly represent a very serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere". The court said they broke the terms of their house arrest by "political campaigning" and "making statements to the media", encouraging protests against the Maduro government.

Venezuela has been in the throes of nationwide protests since late March, with citizens demonstrating against food shortages, galloping inflation and Maduro's autocratic government.

Cuba, Venezuela's closest ally, charged that "a well-organised worldwide operation was under way, led from Washington, with the support of the OAS chief, aimed at silencing the voice of the Venezuelan people, and forcing them into submission with attacks and economic sanctions".

"Venezuela has the largest (crude) oil reserves of any country on Earth, so the amount of petroleum leaving or staying in Venezuela will affect prices", Linares said.

Shamdasani says the high commissioner is anxious the excessive use of force will worsen the volatile situation in Venezuela. Despite global condemnation ahead of the poll-including sanctions against Venezuelan officials by the US-it took place anyway, and a violent response to protests led to 10 deaths.