By Josefina Josepha
Caribbean News Now Curacao correspondent
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela held its 22nd election in the presence of international observers throughout the 23 states and various Venezuelan embassies globally, to determine the country’s next president for the period 2019 to 2025.
Vladimir Padrino Lopez, Chief and General of the Armed Forces, said, “The election process was positive and balance and that the voting process was successful and what can be resolved is the participative character of the people.”
At roughly 10:26 pm, almost four-and-a-half hours after the regularly scheduled close of the polls, Tibisay Lucena Ramírez, the head of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE), emerged and read the election results from the International Press Center in Plaza Caracas, in the company of the vice president of the electoral body, Sandra Oblitas Ruzza; the electoral directors Socorro Hernández Hernández and Tania D’Amelio Cardiet; and the electoral rector, Luis Emilio Rondón Hernández.
Ramírez reported that, with over 92.6 percent of the confirmed ballots recorded, and 46.01 percent voter participation, with an overall 48 percent projection in the election, in which 20,527,571 voters were registered in the electoral roll, the total number of valid votes was 8,603,336.
The PSUV party leader and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro Moros obtained 5,823,728 votes; candidate Henri José Falcón Fuentes, 1,820,552; independent candidate Javier Alejandro Bertucci, 925,042; and the UPP 89 political party candidate, Reinaldo José Quijada Cerdone, 34,614 votes.
Ramírez implored the international community to let Venezuelans choose and govern their own fate and lives: “We ask everyone, nationals and internationals to respect the electoral results and to respect the people of Venezuela who decided the future of the country in peace and tranquility.”
In closing, the president of the CNE said that the official results of the elections would be made available an hour afterwards; however, after 12 hours, no official results were posted to the CNE website.
Maduro took to the stage to thank and congratulate all those that voted for him as well as those that didn’t. He promised the thousands of supporters a change for the future of Venezuela. During Maduro’s victory speech, there were “American imperialist political cultural moments” of Trumpism; when Maduro called Henri Fuentes “Henri Falsantes”, and yet another movement of Barack-Obamaism; when one lady in the audience shouted, “I love you,” and Maduro responded, “I love you back!”
After the winning results were made public there were no concessionary speeches by candidates Fuentes, Bertucci or Quijada; however, in Maduro’s victory speech he expressed his desire to have an open dialogue with the other candidates towards a progressive move for the sake of the country.
On Twitter, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted to his Venezuelan counterpart and new best friend Maduro: “e hago llegar las más fraternales felicitaciones por tu contundente victoria en los comicios presidenciales de este domingo 20 de mayo.” (I want to send my most fraternal congratulations to you on your overwhelming landslide victory in the presidential election this Sunday May 20.)
In a second bulletin on Monday from the CNE vice-president, Sandra Oblitas Ruzza, she stated that, with 98.78 percent of the votes officially counted, voter participation reached 46.02 percent, equivalent to 9,132,655 votes, with Maduro obtaining 6,190,612 votes; Henri Falcón: 1,917,036; Javier Bertucci’s votes increased by 63,719; whereas Reinaldo José Quijada increased by 1,632 votes.