June 12th, 2024

Maria Corina Machado is winner of Venezuela opposition primary that government has denounced

By The Associated Press on October 26, 2023.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuelan government critic María Corina Machado was declared the winner Thursday of an opposition-organized primary to choose a presidential candidate, in polling last weekend that was denounced by the self-proclaimed socialist government as illegitimate.

The voting Sunday organized by the National Primary Commission drew more than 2.4 million voters in Venezuela and abroad and was aimed at choosing a candidate to run against President Nicolás Maduro next year.

But despite some assurances by Maduro’s government that the opposition would be allowed to choose a candidate, it has cast heavy doubt on any outcome of the weekend primary. Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into primary organizers on charges including fraud and usurping authority, and on top of that the government has official banned Machado from running for office.

Still, the opposition primary commission declared Machado the winner Thursday in an event before opposition leaders and some of the other candidates she obliterated at the ballot box Sunday.

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