Whether Maduro rigged the election or not, Venezuela is the big loser.
Maduro won the election but the most popular opponents had been banned.
I don’t know if there was anyone running on the ballots who represented small government, free markets, property rights, and liberty. I doubt it.
However Maduro got reelected to power, his win was a victory for socialism and a defeat for Venezuela as a viable nation.
The Associated Press reports, “The Latest: Maduro declared winner in Venezuela’s election.”
Venezuela’s election officials say socialist leader Nicolas Maduro has won a second six-year term as president of the oil-rich South American country, while his main rivals are disputing the legitimacy of the vote and calling for a new election.
The National Election Council announced that with almost 93 percent of polling stations reporting, Maduro won nearly 68 percent of the votes in Sunday’s election, beating his nearest challenger Henri Falcon by almost 40 points.
The opposition throughout the day argued that a Maduro victory would lack legitimacy because many voters stayed home, heeding the call to boycott an election seen as rigged. Government critics also say other voters were pressured into voting for Maduro.
Electoral authorities say turnout is projected to reach 48 percent.
The United States and many governments around the world rejected the election even before ballots were cast as several key rivals of Maduro were barred from running.
Increasing authoritarian rule and mismanagement of the all-important state-run oil industry have caused a deepening economic crisis, putting Venezuelan on the brink of collapse.[…]
Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon is calling for a new presidential election, saying that Sunday’s presidential vote was marred by irregularities and lacks legitimacy.
Falcon addressed supporters before the announcement of any results from the election, in which socialist President Nicolas Maduro is seeking a second six-year term.
Falcon says his campaign collected thousands of complaints indicating ruling party activists set up so-called “Red Points” intended to pressure the poor to vote for Maduro at 86 percent of voting centers across Venezuela.
The candidate says the election “without any doubt lacks legitimacy and we categorically refuse to recognize this process.”
Falcon also has harsh words for Venezuela’s main opposition coalition, saying its call to boycott the election that appears to have been widely heeded played into the government’s hands.
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