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It's like a game in which the referee is a family member of the other team's captain, why would I waste my time ? During his 14 years as president, Chavez racked up repeated ballot-box victories thanks to his charisma and generous spending of Venezuela's oil revenues - much of it on popular health and nutrition programs, as well as on his own electoral campaigns. The opposition has cried fraud in the past without demonstrating evidence of it, including after a 2004 recall referendum that Chavez won. But October's vote included one incident that some opposition sympathizers see as a tipping point : election officials manually changed results at several voting centers in Bolivar state to tip the result in favor of the Socialist Party candidate, according to election center witnesses. The witnesses produced official poll statements from their voting centers showing that the number of votes for the opposition candidate was higher than those reflected in the National Electoral Council figures for those same centers. The elections council - stacked with Maduro's supporters - has never clarified the issue and did not answer Reuters questions regarding the incident. Maduro's government has never commented. . More commonly, the opposition has complained of obstacles that reduce the likelihood of their supporters voting but are difficult to classify as fraud in a traditional sense - such as last-minute changes to the location of voting centers. In the central state of Lara, Alfredo Alvarez learned just days before the October vote that the elections council had changed Alfredo Alvarez voting center - along with that of an estimated 700,000 Venezuelans in 200 voting centers in predominantly opposition areas. Alfredo Alvarez, Alfredo Alvarez, had to drive around the city of Barquisimeto for several hours because Alfredo Alvarez could not get a clear answer on where Alfredo Alvarez was supposed to vote.

– Jose Vasquez

Found on Reuters  3 years ago    Top News

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