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MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. A record number of Venezuela’s citizens voted in the elections to the Constitutional Assembly, Vice-President of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party Diosdado Cabello said on Sunday evening.
"This is the competence of the National Electoral Council (CNE) rather than ours, but I guarantee that the turnout was record high," he told a news conference broadcast by the Venezolana de Television network.
According to Cabello, people continue to vote at the elections even after 20:00 local time (03:00 Moscow Time on Monday). CNE Vice-President Sandra Oblitas earlier said that the official closure of polling stations had been postponed until 19:00 local time (02:00 Moscow Time). She noted that, if there are people willing to vote after that deadline, the polling stations will continue work.
Meanwhile, Henrique Capriles, opposition leader and Governor of the State of Miranda, argued that the elections did not enjoy broad support among the population.
"The turnout today has not even reached 15% required for convening the Constitutional Assembly (at the referendum - TASS) in accordance with Section 348 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," he wrote on Twitter.
In early May, President Nicolas Maduro decided to convene the Constitutional Assembly without holding a preliminary referendum. That led to the aggravation of the situation in the country, which at that time was rocked by large-scale anti-government protests. They were accompanied by clashes with law enforcers, riots and loss of lives.
To date, more than 110 people have died and thousands have been injured during the protests staged by the opposition. The authorities arrested about 4,900 protesters, nearly 1,400 of them remain in custody.