Venezuelan Opposition Announces International Tour to Denounce “Electoral Fraud”

Venezuela’s opposition coalition confirmed Monday that its leaders will present allegations of electoral fraud before organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Lima Group, amongst others. 

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Voting machine
One of the voting machines used in Venezuela's regional elections on October 15 electronically generates a paper reading of the results. (CorreodelOrinoco)
By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
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Bogota, October 24 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuela’s Roundtable of Democratic Unity coalition (MUD) confirmed Monday that it will begin an international tour this week to denounce alleged “electoral fraud” in Venezuela’s October 15 regional elections.

“The tour will demand a new electoral system, multiply the democratic message of Venezuelans, and defend the right of Venezuelans to choose freely,” tweeted the coalition Monday.

3/4 La gira exigirá un nuevo sistema electoral, multiplicar el mensaje democrático de los venezolanos y defender el derecho de los venezolanos a elegir libremente.

— Unidad Venezuela (@unidadvenezuela) October 23, 2017

Venezuela’s regional elections were touted as free and fair by international observers, but the MUD has claimed that the process was affected by foul play and ballot stuffing.

So far the coalition has failed to present proof of its allegations with the exception of Bolivar state, where its candidate Andres Velasquez circulated alleged voting machine print-offs showing tallies that differed from official National Electoral Council results. Velasquez reported on Twitter Monday afternoon that he had filed an official complain contesting the results - though the CNE has confirmed that as of Monday morning it had received no formal appeals against the validity of the elections. 

According to the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, the MUD will take its allegations of fraud to the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and Dominican President Danilo Medina — who was previously facilitating dialogue between the opposition and national government prior to the elections. 

Meanwhile the CNE carried out a second audit of the vote last Friday. According to the electoral body, the paper ballots of 203 voting machines from 23 states were cross-referenced against electronic results and corroborated the overall election results.

The audit was witnessed and signed off on by representatives from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the independent party NUVIPA, and opposition parties belonging to the MUD, such as Democratic Action, A New Era (UNT), the Popular Will Party, the First Justice party.

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