Maduro Accuses EU Election Observers of Espionage

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro accused the European Union (EU) electoral observation mission (EOM) on Sunday of being spies who tried to strain the election.

“Spies! They tried to stain the impeccable electoral process of Venezuela, and they could not. A delegation of spies,” Maduro commented in a live broadcast on Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).

Maduro said that the EU never deploys so many supposed observers with a spy methodology, adding that they have not seen any delegation, such as the EU delegation, in 22 years.

“The European Union could not stain Venezuela. The electoral process was beautiful. There were verifiable, fair, and free elections, and the Chavismo victory was tremendous,” Maduro said.

Meanwhile, the EU mission did not immediately comment on the statements of Maduro on television but said local and regional elections in Venezuela had better conditions than the previous ones. 

However, the mission raised concerns about the lack of judicial independence in Venezuela.

“There have been arbitrary bans on candidates for administrative reasons, there have been suspensions, or the most recognized leaders or members of some parties have been withdrawn,” Mission chief Isabel Santos said.

The EOM was the first one in 15 years to observe the elections of Venezuela, which included 1,000 observers who monitored voting in 22 out of 23 elections. 

EOM has flagged some irregularities and said it would present a full report in two months.

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