Venezuela is selecting it leader for the next six years. Incumbent President Nicolas Maduro wants a second term in office, while the main opposition is boycotting the election.
CGTN’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Caracas.
The President was the very first to vote, casting his ballot just after dawn. The fact that this election is happening, he said, is a victory itself.
“There has been a fierce campaign led by Donald Trump’s government in the US, there has been pressure to try to discredit the Venezuelan elections, but they couldn’t,” Maduro said.
His main rival in this controversial process is former governor Henri Falcon, who cast his vote in the northern state of Lara.
With the main opposition coalition calling for a boycott, President Maduro will be hoping to show that there was massive participation. But in at least one voting center in a traditionally pro-government area of Caracas, there seemed to be fewer people than in previous years.
Among those coming to vote was the President of Venezuela’s supreme court, who is one of several senior figures in the Maduro government sanctioned by the United States.
Government supporters we spoke to echoed President Maduro’s view that casting a vote is less about politics, and more about patriotism.
“We are defending our country,” one woman said. “If we don’t defend it, who is going to defend us? Foreigners? From other countries? No. We are the only ones that can defend ourselves.”
— Stephen Gibbs (@STHGibbs) May 20, 2018
Across town in an opposition stronghold, barely anyone was present at all, apart from one woman who said she was not voting.
“For the first time, I’m not voting,” she said. “I don’t believe in these elections.”
The opposition has already said this is the majority view.
The result we are expected in the early morning hours on Monday. Then in the coming days, Venezuela we will learn which countries accept the vote, which do not, and what they are planning to do.
Phillip Gunson discusses Venezuela’s presidential election
Venezuela is selecting it leader for the next six years. Incumbent President Nicolas Maduro wants a second term in office, while the main opposition is boycotting the election. Phillip Gunson, a Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group, discusses with CGTN’s Wang Guan.
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