Venezuela president says US pressured Smartmatic to make turnout claims – Daniel BoffeyLast modified on Thursday 3 August 2017 04.28 EDT


Nicolás Maduro stands by official vote count and says the tech platform is ‘pressured to the neck by gringos’

Maduro speaks during a meeting with members of the constituent assembly in Caracas on Wednesday.
Maduro speaks during a meeting with members of the constituent assembly in Caracas on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

Venezuela’s president has accused the company that provides the technological platform for the country’s voting system of bowing to US pressure after it said the official turnout figure in Sunday’s vote had been manipulated by at least a million votes.

Nicolás Maduro stood by the official count of more than 8m votes and said an additional 2 million people would have voted if they had not been blocked by opposition protesters. “That stupid guy, the president of Smartmatic, pressured to the neck by the gringos and the Brits, said there were 7.5 million [voters],” Maduro said in televised remarks. “I think there were 10 million Venezuelans who went out.”

Antonio Mugica, the chief executive of London-based Smartmatic, had said on Wednesday that results recorded by the company’s systems show “without any doubt” that the official turnout figure was tampered with.

Maduro provided no evidence to support his claim, but his remarks were received with resounding applause from a meeting of about 500 people elected to the assembly on Sunday.

The body, made up entirely of the ruling Socialist party and its political allies, will have the ability to dissolve state institutions and rewrite the constitution. Maduro has also vowed he will use it to target his opponents.

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