Maduro wins vote amid election boycott
CARACAS, May 21, 2018 – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected for a new term of six years in a controversial Sunday vote that fueled fears of new US energy sanctions, international media reported on Monday.
Millions of voters and the main opposition boycotted the election, which Maduro reportedly won with a 68% of the vote, while foreign observers said the poll was rigged, The Wall Street Journal reported. At 48%, turnout was the lowest in 20 years, Bloomberg reported separately.
“We do not recognise this electoral process as valid,” main challenger Henri Falcón, who received 21%, told the agency. “For us, there were no elections.”
The USA, which is among those who do not recognise the election, is currently considering a new set of sanctions, this time directed against Venezuela’s oil and gas industry, the reports added.
“Tomorrow the U.S. & international community will respond as necessary. #Venezuela,” tweeted Marco Rubio, an outspoken Republican US Senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday.