EU concerned over 'fate of democracy' in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory in Sunday's election for an assembly to rewrite the constitution amid a crackdown on protests that have left more than 120 people dead in four months.

EU concerned over 'fate of democracy' in Venezuela

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Union voiced concern on Monday over the fate of democracy in Venezuela, adding there are "grave doubts" that it can recognise a controversial vote.

"The events of the past 24 hours have reinforced the European Union's preoccupation for the fate of democracy in Venezuela," European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a daily briefing.

"The commission indeed has grave doubts about whether the election result can be recognised," said the spokewsoman for the executive of the 28-nation EU.

"A Constituent Assembly, elected under doubtful and often violent circumstances cannot be part of the solution."

The EU also "condemns the excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces," while urging all sides to "refrain from violence," she said.

Protesters attacked polling stations and barricaded streets around the country on Sunday, drawing a bloody response from security forces, who opened fire with live ammunition in some cases.

Maduro encouraged the new "Constituent Assembly" to wield its vast powers to scrap opposition lawmakers' immunity from prosecution as one of its first acts. Protesters fear the new body is designed to keep Maduro in power.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani meanwhile denounced what his office called a "fraudulent" and illegitimate" election. 

"It is a sad day for democracy in Venezuela, in Latin America and in the world as international treaties and the country’s own constitution are violated, most importantly, against the will of the people," Tajani said after talks with Venezuela's opposition.

Last Mod: 31 Temmuz 2017, 14:07
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