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by WorldTribune Staff, August 4, 2017
The vote for Venezuela’s new National Constituent Assembly was manipulated “without any doubt,” according to a company which has worked with the country on its voting system since 2004.
“We estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by authorities is at least 1 million votes,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said at a news briefing in London on Aug. 2.
Critics say the vote was designed to give the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro powers to rewrite the constitution.
According to a report by GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs: “The new Assembly theoretically has the power to dismiss any branch of government, including the National Assembly. The National Electoral Council’s claim that almost 8.1 million people (more than 40 percent of the electorate) had voted was rejected not only by Smartmatic, but by Venezuelan opposition leaders. There was no international monitoring in place.”
Smartmatic was the voting machine company established by Venezuelans under late President Hugo Chavez “to provide the Chavez government with its own sense of confidence that it could control the outcome of elections,” the GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs report said.
“Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted. “We won’t accept an illegit govt. The Venezuelan ppl & democracy will prevail.”
Read Smartmatic’s statement on the Venezuela vote here.