Nicolas Maduro garnered 68 percent of the votes cast, according to the electoral commission, which is loaded with government loyalists, FT reported on Monday. Venezuela’s leader wins a controversial election again.
Nicolas Maduro’s victory, despite presiding over one of the biggest economic meltdowns in the region’s history, hyperinflation, corruption, plunging oil output and food shortages that have driven millions of people to emigrate.
His nearest rival, Henri Falcón, who had led some opinion polls in the run-up to the vote, took 21 percent and dismissed the election as fraudulent, calling for a new ballot.
According to the electoral commission’s official data, the final turnout was projected to be 48 percent — well below the average for recent Venezuelan elections. When Mr Maduro first won office in 2013, nearly 80 percent of eligible voters turned out and Hugo Chávez, his predecessor and mentor, regularly attracted a high turnout to back his socialist “ Bolivarian Revolution ”.
Maduro’s chief rival for the presidency was Henri Falcon, a former state governor and onetime loyalist of the ruling party who broke ranks in 2010. About 5.8 million votes went to Maduro and Falcon came in second with 1.8 million votes, according to National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena. These figures were based on 92.6% of the tallied votes.
First reaction to the results of the presidential election in Venezuela
Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa — who has a good relationship with Maduro — was in Caracas monitoring the elections and cited a healthy turnout.
“In a few hours early morning, there was already participation at 30%, which illuminates a big participation at the end of the working day,”
Despite the winning the election, Nicolas Maduro is in a very delicate position. He has promised change in Venezuela – why he needed a second mandate to do that is anyone’s guess. He’s already been in the job five years. Added to that, change for the better under President Maduro is unlikely. With international pressure likely to build after these results, and with a crumbling economy, his job is harder than ever – as are the lives of Venezuelans here.