Venezuela's Maduro wins elections against divided opposition amid growing US hostility

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stands with supporters during a gathering after the results of the election were released, outside of the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections on May 20, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that night.

With 92.6 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNE President Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.

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"We are the force of history turned into popular victory," Maduro told his supporters after the CNE announcement. "Thank you to facing so many aggressions and lies, thank you for overcoming it, and for making me president of Venezuela for the next term."

The elections occured amiod a boycott by the main oppoistion alliance, which is back by the United States, which has increasingly placed sanctions against the Latin American nation.

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teleSUR English@telesurenglish

| @NicolasMaduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Sunday night.

12:52 PM - May 21, 2018

The president further thanked the Venezuelan people for their support and voting him into a second term with 68% of the vote. "The people in Venezuela have to be respected. "I demand the respect for all of the Venezuelan People. I'm the president of all of the Venezuelans. I call for a dialogue process. Permanent dialogue is what Venezuela needs."

As results came out, Maduro supporters let off fireworks in poor Caracas neighborhoods and danced to Latin pop around the downtown Miraflores presidential palace. He took 5.8 million votes, versus 1.8 million for Falcon.

"I want to congratulate the revolutionary youth in Venezuela and all social movements in Venezuela for this victory," Maduro said. "I look to the future, and I propose to all the leaders of the opposition to meet and talk about Venezuela. Democratically, let's resolve Venezuela's problems."

Falcon had promised to convert Venezuela’s currency to the US-dollar. In the hour before the results were announced, Falcon said that he wasn't going to recognise the results, that they were "illegitimate." He also blamed abstentionist sectors of the opposition for his loss, and called for new elections to be called for October.

[Reposted from TeleSUR English.]