Maduro wins Venezuelan election branded ‘illegitimate & undemocratic’ by US and opposition

Nicolas Maduro has been declared the winner of Sunday’s presidential election, which saw a 46.1 percent turnout, according to Venezuela’s electoral council, after the opposition branded the vote a fraud and called for a boycott.

With 92.6 percent of the vote counted, Maduro has won presidential election with 5,823,728 of the votes, National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena announced. His main adversary, Henri Falcon of the Progressive Advance party, obtained 1,820,552 votes; while the independent candidate Javier Bertucci won 925,042 votes.

“How much have they underestimated our revolutionary people, and how much have they underestimated me,” Maduro told a late-night crowd in front of the presidential palace. “And here we are, victorious.”

Over eight million Venezuelans participated in the election, which witnessed a low 46.1 percent participation rate after opposition parties called for a boycott of the election, declaring them a “fraud.”

“The process undoubtedly lacks legitimacy and as such we do not recognize it,” Falcon proclaimed, even before the election results were announced. The candidate claimed that the vote was full of irregularities and totally rigged in favor of Maduro because the mainstream opposition promoted abstention, leaving Falcon without potential voters.

On Friday, the US Treasury seemingly tried to sway public opinion and the result of Sunday's vote by officially linking Maduro to drug trade, accusing the country's “second most powerful man,” Diosdado Cabello, of running a narcotics ring and sharing profits with the president.

Maduro, who himself is subject to US sanctions, repeatedly slammed Washington’s punitive measures as part of a broader campaign aimed at overthrowing his government.

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