Venezuela congress chief calls for vote probe

World Today

Julio Borges, center, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly speaks during a news conference prior the start of a session of Congress in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Borges spoke about the voting technology company Smartmatic, after its CEO said that results of Venezuela’s election for an all-powerful constituent assembly were off by at least 1 million votes. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

The company that provides the technology for Venezuela’s voting system said Sunday’s election results were “manipulated.”

Venezuela’s electoral board said more than 8 million people voted in the election- but the CEO of Smartmatic said the true number is 7 million at best, and perhaps even fewer.

CGTN’s Juan Carlos Llamas reports.

Follow Juan Carlos Rivas Lamas on Twitter @JuanRivasLamas

The CEO of London-based Smartmatic, Antonio Mugica, said a full audit would be needed to confirm the exact number of votes cast last Sunday, but said Venezuela’s electoral authority is inflating the numbers by at least one million.

The news has been welcomed by the Venezuelan opposition, who said the vote was fraudulent a sentiment echoed by the Organization of American States.

Opposition lawmakers are now urging the Public Prosecutor’s Office to initiate an investigation into the National Electoral Council.

Sunday’s vote created a new constituent assembly, authorized to rewrite the constitution – with critics fearing it will move the country towards a dictatorship.

The election drew international condemnation with the U.S. issuing new sanctions on President Nicholas Maduro.

But Maduro has called on the Venezuelan opposition and international community to respect Sunday’s elections, which he said were a vote for peace.

Despite the controversy, the President is pressing ahead with swearing-in members of his new congress on Wednesday.