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Argentine foreign minister, US senior diplomat slam Venezuela elections as illegitimate

May 21, 2018, 4:28 UTC+3 BUENOS AIRES

Venezuelans went to polling stations on Sunday to elect the president for a six-year term

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© AP Photo/Fernando Llano

BUENOS AIRES, May 21. /TASS/. Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan called the presidential election in Venezuela on Sunday as illegitimate, a statement from the Argentine Foreign Ministry stated.

"They both stated that the election process organized by the government of Venezuela was illegitimate and untrustworthy," the statement said adding that Caracas did not provide "the necessary guarantees for holding free, honest and transparent elections."

US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said earlier in a statement that "Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan met with Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie on the margins of the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Buenos Aires."

"The Deputy Secretary praised the Argentine Foreign Minister for his leadership in advocating for a resolution to Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and for galvanizing regional support for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela," the spokesperson added.

Venezuelans went to polling stations on Sunday to elect the president for a six-year term. The candidates running in the election were incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, Javier Bertucci, a candidate from the Hope for Change party, Reinaldo Quijada from the ultra-left party Popular and Political Unity party, and also Henri Falcon from the Progressive Advance, a small opposition party.

Major opposition parties, controlling the country’s parliament, refused to take part in the election. Maduro earlier announced that their decision to boycott the vote would not affect the outcome and the republic would have a legitimate president.

Despite the sharp decline in living standards, hyperinflation and the depreciation of national currency, many Venezuelans continue supporting incumbent executive authorities.

The citizens also cast their votes on Sunday for deputies of regional legislatures. The previous major election held in late 2017 - gubernatorial and municipal - resulted in a confident victory of socialists despite large-scale anti-government protests, which have gripped the country over the past months.

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