An election in which less than thirty percent votes is to give powers to President and null to mull the position voices was condemned by the US President Donald Trump, European Union, Canada and Latin American powers including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
Senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on Venezuelans to continue defying the deeply unpopular Maduro with new protests against the election and the “massacre” he said accompanied it.
“We do not recognize this fraudulent process,” he said, calling for nationwide marches Monday and a mass protest in Caracas Wednesday, the day the new assembly is due to be installed.
Maduro has decreed a ban on protests during and after the vote, threatening prison terms of up to 10 years.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory Monday in an internationally criticized election to pick a new assembly to rewrite the constitution, but the opposition vowed to keep protesting despite deadly clashes.
Ten people were killed in a wave of bloodshed that swept Venezuela Sunday as Maduro defied an opposition boycott and international condemnation — including the threat of new US sanctions — to hold elections for a powerful new “Constituent Assembly.”
Protesters attacked polling stations and barricaded streets around the country, drawing a bloody response from security forces, who opened fire with live ammunition in some cases.
Despite the boycott and the unrest, the head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena — one of 13 Maduro allies already hit by US sanctions — said there had been “extraordinary turnout” of more than eight million voters, 41.5 percent of the electorate.
In a speech to hundreds of supporters in central Caracas, Maduro hailed it as a win.
“We have a Constituent Assembly,” he said.
“It is the biggest vote the revolution has ever scored in its 18-year history,” he said, referring to the year his late mentor, Hugo Chavez, came to power.
The socialist president is gambling his four-year rule on the 545-member assembly, which will be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress and rewrite the constitution.
But the unrest fueled fears that his insistence on convening the assembly — despite months of demonstrations — would only plunge the country deeper into chaos.
There was blistering international condemnation of the vote, led by Washington.
“The United States condemns the elections… for the National Constituent Assembly, which is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people´s right to self-determination,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
It threatened further “strong and swift” sanctions on Maduro´s government.
The election was also condemned by the European Union, Canada and Latin American powers including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
The opposition said the vote was a fraud.