Nov 29, 2021 08:53 UTC
  • Maduro brands EU vote observers as 'spies'; rejects claim of vote irregularities

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lashed out at the European Union (EU) election observers as “spies,” dismissing their claim that the last week’s vote was marred by irregularities.

"Those who came as enemies, the delegation of spies from the European Union, found not a bit of evidence to criticize the electoral system," Maduro said of the November 21 polls for gubernatorial and mayoral posts in the oil-rich Central American nation.

According to Press TV, Maduro’s ruling socialist party claimed a landslide victory in the country’s first vote to include top opposition parties in nearly four years, bagging 20 of the 23 gubernatorial offices and the mayorship of the capital Caracas.

The opposition parties, ending their three-year boycott of regional elections, walked away with the remaining three posts.

It marked the first time in 15 years that the EU sent a team to observe Venezuela’s elections.

The mission included 1,000 observers who monitored voting in 22 out of 23 polls. The full report is expected to be released in two months.

"They looked to stain the electoral process (in a report) and they couldn't. A delegation of spies - they weren't observers - wandered freely around the country, spying on the country's social, economic and political life," the Venezuelan president said during a broadcast on state television.

The EU observation mission Tuesday raised concerns about what it alleged as "lack of adherence to the rule of law" during the last week’s election and "extended use of state resources in the campaign," while noting  “better conditions” than previous contests.

Head of the mission, Isabel Santos, said Venezuela’s national electoral authority is more politically balanced than it has been in 20 years, but added that other longstanding problems with the country’s political system continue.