Parties making up the Great Patriotic Pole, an alliance that backs socialist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, won elections Sunday that opposition leaders are calling illegitimate.
Members of the Great Patriotic Pole won about two-thirds of votes cast on election day, but only 31% of eligible voters turned out to the polls, according to Reuters. The results will once again give Maduro power in congress after opposition won in 2015.
Opposition leaders say Sunday’s election was illegitimate, citing a biased elections council, a lack of electoral observation, and the sabotaging of opposition parties, Reuters reports. Nearly 18% of the vote went to parties that claim to oppose Maduro, but are allegedly led by Maduro-linked politicians appointed to their positions by the country’s supreme court, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Adolf Hitler Wins Local Election In African Country Of Namibia)
Many international observers are refusing to recognize the election as legitimate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said what happened “is a fraud and a sham, not an election.”
Venezuela’s electoral fraud has already been committed. The results announced by the illegitimate Maduro regime will not reflect the will of the Venezuelan people. What’s happening today is a fraud and a sham, not an election.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 6, 2020
“After the blackmail, the kidnapping of parties, censorship, fabrication of results, sowing terror, they announce what we have been saying – a fraud with 30%,” Opposition leader and head of the current congress Juan Guaido, internationally recognized by many countries as Venezuela’s rightful leader, tweeted. (RELATED: Trump Demands ‘List’ Of Republicans In Congress Who Say Biden Won)
The election will give Maduro more power to run the country that has been economically devastated under his leadership. Millions of Venezuelans have fled their homes as the U.S. has increased economic sanctions during the Trump administration.