Venezuela's president Maduro re-elected amid claims of vote-rigging and tanking economy

Venezuela's president Maduro re-elected amid claims of vote-rigging and tanking economy

However, Maduro announced a complete audit of de votes by global experts and called for the consolidation of peace and coexistence among all political sectors of Venezuelan society with a view to advancing towards the solution of economic problems, and establishing a constructive agenda for the development and the future of the country. It pegged turnout at only 46.1 percent, down from 80 percent in 2013.

"I am a better-prepared president and human being right now", he said to a cheering crowd outside Miraflores presidential palace.

"If you're sick and the doctor gives you few days to live, you don't lay in bed waiting to die", she said.

In his congratulatory telegram, "Putin expressed confidence that Maduro's activities as head of state will promote development of strategic partnership relations between the two countries", the press service said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier on Twitter: "Sham elections change nothing". "They are not clean or legitimate elections and they do not represent the free and sovereign will of the Venezuelan people".

"Your vote decides: ballots or bullets, motherland or colony, peace or violence, independence or subordination", said the 55-year-old former bus driver and union leader. The food boxes became both an incentive and a threat during the campaign, with many voters fearful that they could be cut off if they didn't support the government.

"I am looking for rewards, everyone wants to win prizes", said voter Maximino Ramos at "red point" in Petare, just 50 meters from a polling centre. "We don't want to damage the country in a way that makes it hard to fix after democracy is restored".

The Lima group of Latin America, which includes Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil, issued a statement Monday saying it did not recognize Venezuela's presidential election.

Tuticorin streets bloodied with 9 deaths after anti-Sterlite protests turn violent
It was supposed to be a plan for 100th day observation of the protests in front of the district collectorate in Tuticorin . The actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan also threw his weight behind the protesters and demanded the closure of the unit.

The outcry followed US condemnation even before the pro-government National Election Council declared Maduro the overwhelming victor in Sunday's vote, which drew the lowest participation on record for a presidential election in decades. The statement said the countries would call their ambassadors back from Caracas for consultations and hold a meeting to coordinate a regional response to what they call "crisis" in Venezuela.

Venezuela's two main opposition coalitions are pledging to unify the nation's fragmented anti-government movement and push for a new election later this year.

Maduro's chief rival for the presidency was Henri Falcon, a former state governor and onetime loyalist of the ruling party who broke ranks in 2010.

Falcon called on election officials to shut them down, calling it a "pressure mechanism, an element of political and social blackmail" directed at a poorer sector of the population.

"We do not recognize this electoral process as valid, as true", his main rival Henri Falcon told a news conference, even before the result was announced.

According to The Associated Press, "Falcon was joined in his call for a new election by third-place finisher Javier Bertucci, who got around 11 percent of the vote".

A social crisis years in the making has worsened as Venezuela's oil production - the source of nearly all of its foreign income - has collapsed to the lowest level in decades and financial sanctions by the Trump administration have made it impossible for the government to renegotiate its debts.

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