after the legislative elections, the opposition denounces “a masquerade”

In front of a polling station in Caracas on December 6.

The legislative elections took place on Sunday, December 6, without opposition and without surprises. In power for twenty years, Chavismo won the majority of seats in the National Assembly which had escaped it in 2015. The major opposition parties which, this time, called for a boycott of the ballot are losing their last institutional bastion. But their call for abstention was followed: turnout was 31% against 71% five years ago.

The first announcement of the National Electoral Council (CNE), covering 82% of the total votes, fell more than six hours after the polling stations closed. The Grand Patriotic Pole, which brings together the Unified Socialist Party (PSUV) of Nicolas Maduro and its main allies, won 67.6% of the total vote, it should therefore obtain a qualified majority of two thirds of the 277 seats to be filled. However, the CNE has not yet specified the composition of Parliament.

Opponents who accepted, under different labels, to participate in the ballot, totaled 18% and the Communist Party, which has become very critical of power, 2.7%. The other voices were distributed among the small regional or local groups.

“Imposture” and “masquerade”

Recalling that he had recognized the victory of the opposition in 2015, Nicolas Maduro welcomed the “Gigantic electoral victory of the forces of the revolution”. Even before the publication of the results, Diosdado Cabello, the powerful vice-president of the United Socialist Party (PSV), had described the election day as“Extraordinary”, while in Washington Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, wrote on his Twitter account: “What is happening in Venezuela today is a sham and a charade, certainly not an election. ” The Organization of American States, Canada, Brazil and Colombia have already indicated that they will not recognize the results of the legislative elections either. The European Union, which refused to send observers, believing that the organization of the poll offered no guarantees or transparency, should follow.

Even the cameras of official televisions struggled to conceal the lack of attendance in front of the polling stations. But, at 4 p.m., the CNE announced (as the law allows, if voters still line up to vote) the extension of the opening of offices until 7 p.m. On social networks, images of officials distributing bags of food here and there to motivate voters have circulated.

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