[:en]Venezuela elections: Maduro wins second term while rivals call for new election[:es]Maduro gana la presidencia en Venezuela, mientras sus rivales llaman a nuevas elecciones[:]

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks to supporters after the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced the results of the voting on election day in Venezuela, on May 20, 2018 in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro was declared winner of Venezuela's election Sunday in a poll rejected as invalid by his rivals, who called for fresh elections to be held later this year. With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 67.7 percent of the vote, with his main rival Henri Falcon taking 21.2 percent, the National Election Council chief Tibisay Lucena announced. / AFP PHOTO / Federico PARRA

[:en]Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was unsurprisingly declared winner of the country’s election Sunday in a poll rejected as invalid by his rivals, who immediately called for fresh elections to be held later this year.

Reeling under a devastating economic crisis, only 46 percent of voters turned out to cast ballots in an election boycotted by the opposition and condemned by much of the international community, but one that hands Maduro a second term until 2025.

“We do not recognize this electoral process as valid, as true,” his main rival Henri Falcon told a news conference, even before the result was announced.

“For us, there were no elections. We have to have new elections in Venezuela.”

Maduro hailed his victory for another six-year term as a “historic record” in a speech to thousands of cheering supporters outside the official Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

“Never before has a presidential candidate taken 68 percent of the popular vote,” he said, to applause.

“We won again! We triumphed again! We are the force of history turned into a permanent popular victory,” said Maduro.

The official result gave Maduro 67.7 percent of the vote, with Falcon a distant second at 21.2 percent. In the last opinion polls before the vote, the pair were running neck-and-neck.

Third-placed Javier Bertucci, an evangelist preacher who polled around 11 percent, joined in the call for new elections.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gestures after the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced the results of the voting on election day in Venezuela, on May 20, 2018.
President Nicolas Maduro was declared winner of Venezuela’s election Sunday in a poll rejected as invalid by his rivals, who called for fresh elections to be held later this year. With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 67.7 percent of the vote, with his main rival Henri Falcon taking 21.2 percent, the National Election Council chief Tibisay Lucena announced. / AFP PHOTO / Juan BARRETO

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks to supporters after the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced the results of the voting on election day in Venezuela, on May 20, 2018 in Caracas. (AFP PHOTO / Federico PARRA)
Maduro, the political heir to the late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez, has presided over an implosion of the once wealthy oil producer’s economy since taking office in 2013.

Hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, rising crime and broken water, power and transportation networks have sparked violent unrest, and left Maduro with a 75 percent disapproval rating.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the South American country in a mass exodus in recent years.

TBP Newsroom[:es]El presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, fue declarado ganador de las elecciones del domingo 20 de mayo, en una encuesta rechazada como inválida por sus rivales, que de inmediato convocaron a nuevas elecciones más adelante este año.

Temblando en medio de una crisis económica devastadora, solo el 46 por ciento de los votantes sufragaron en una elección boicoteada por la oposición y condenada por gran parte de la comunidad internacional, pero que le otorga a Maduro un segundo mandato hasta 2025.

“No reconocemos que este proceso electoral sea válido”, dijo su principal rival, Henri Falcon, en una conferencia de prensa, incluso antes de que se anunciara el resultado.

“Para nosotros, no hubo elecciones. Tenemos que tener nuevas elecciones en Venezuela “.

Maduro elogió su victoria por otro período de seis años como un “récord histórico” en un discurso ante miles de entusiastas seguidores fuera del Palacio Miraflores en Caracas.

“Nunca antes un candidato presidencial obtuvo el 68 por ciento del voto popular”, dijo, entre aplausos de sus seguidores.

“¡Hemos ganado de nuevo! ¡Triunfamos de nuevo! Somos la fuerza de la historia convertida en una victoria popular permanente “, dijo Maduro.

El resultado oficial le dio a Maduro el 67.7 por ciento de los votos, con Falcón un segundo distante con un 21.2 por ciento. En las últimas encuestas de opinión antes de la votación, el par estaba en una situación muy estrecha.

El tercer clasificado Javier Bertucci, un predicador evangelista que obtuvo un 11 por ciento, se unió a la convocatoria de nuevas elecciones.

El presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro (C), se dirige a los simpatizantes luego de que el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) anunciara los resultados de la votación del día de las elecciones en Venezuela, el 20 de mayo de 2018 en Caracas. (AFP PHOTO / Federico PARRA).

Maduro, el heredero político del izquierdista Hugo Chávez, ha presidido la implosión de la economía del otrora rico productor de petróleo desde que asumió el cargo en 2013.

La hiperinflación, la escasez de alimentos y medicinas, el aumento de la delincuencia y el desempleo han desatado violentos disturbios y han dejado a Maduro con una calificación de desaprobación del 75%.

Cientos de miles de venezolanos han huido del país sudamericano en un éxodo masivo en los últimos años.

TBP Newsroom[:]

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