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Deadly protests mar Venezuelan election outcome

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 01:41

Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party has vowed that a newly elected legislative super-body will begin passing laws quickly after a vote that was boycotted by the opposition and slammed by foreign governments as an affront to democracy. Ciara Lee reports.

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Deadly violence in Venezuela on election day - but President Nicolas Maduro insists Sunday's vote to rewrite the constitution was a success. Even after reports that 10 people were killed during some of the worst street protests in months. Maduro's critics described the election as a naked power grab despite anger over an economic meltdown and mass food shortages. The vote could exacerbate those economic woes if the U.S. - the top market for Venezuelan oil - follows through on threats of economic sanctions. And that could sow doubts among investors about the legitimacy of financing deals backed by the new assembly. But Maduro remains defiant. (SOUNDBITE) VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, SAYING: "Why the hell should we care what Trump says, we care about what the sovereign people of Venezuela say." But according to the opposition - only 12 percent of voters actually turned up at the polls - because most of the country refused to recognise the election. That number - heavily disputed by the government, which has the turnout percentage at 42. At least 120 people have died in unrest since April, drawing widespread criticism. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION DEPUTY CHIEF SPOKESPERSON, MINA ANDREEVA, SAYING: "The European Union condemns the excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces. The government of Venezuela has a responsibility to ensure respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to peacefully demonstrate." Maduro's new assembly is due to sit within 72 hours of being certified. His wife and son are among those expected to win seats.

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Deadly protests mar Venezuelan election outcome

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 01:41