Official Fraud in Venezuela
The company responsible for counting Venezuelan votes, Smartmatic, who has worked in the country since 2004, said Wednesday that the data published by the National Electoral Council in the elections for a National Constituent Assembly were manipulated.
The spokesman for Smartmatic, the company that has facilitated the digital suffrage system in Venezuela for more than ten years, Antonio Mugica, said that data on last Sunday's election result have been manipulated by more than one million votes.
"We know, without a doubt, that the result of the recent elections for a National Constituent Assembly were manipulated," Mugica said. "We estimate that the difference between actual and announced participation by the authorities is at least one million votes," he said.
According to the National Electoral Council's director, Tibisay Lucena, 8.1 Venezuelans exercised their right to vote on Sunday, but independent observers and the opposition coalition claimed that polling stations were empty, despite the repressive efforts of the Government to avoid coverage of the day and the pressure they exerted on workers in the public sector.
Mugica broke away from any partisan statement, refusing to answer, "Whether manipulation of the participation data will change the outcome of the elections," reported the Spanish newspaper El País. For the spokesman, this is the first time since his company has collaborated with the Venezuelan electoral process, that government reports do not match the data of their system. He said the automated system is designed so that any manipulation would be detected "immediately and very easily".
President of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, declared to the media, "the rectors (of the CNE) incurred a crime by altering the electoral result. The announcement made by Smartmatic shows that we are before a fraudulent constituent that does not exist." In the same way, the political leader announced that the National Assembly (of opposition majority) would initiate a criminal investigation against the authorities of the National Electoral Council.
It is expected that this investigation will continue through regular channels, due to the fact that Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz has broken ranks with Chavismo, denouncing the rupture of the rule of law and has declared in total disagreement and ignorance of the National Constituent Assembly announced by the regime.
The international community, whose diplomatic majority has ignored and denounced the unconstitutional process of Nicolas Maduro, has agreed with the qualification of Sunday's elections as a fraud.
The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, stated that in Venezuela "the largest electoral fraud in Latin American history is confirmed in percentage and millions of voters," he said through his Twitter account.
The procedure to follow would consist of a general audit that, according to Mugica, "would allow to know the exact figure of participation". But during the election, there was a lack of opposition auditors, who "are considered fundamental witnesses of the process," according to independent Venezuelan media Runrunes.
These statements increase the current state of tension in the Caribbean country, after the government removed the opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma (who served their sentence under house arrest) and advanced the appointment of members of the fraudulent Constituent Assembly.