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MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. The turnout in Sunday’s elections to Venezuela’s Constitutional Assembly was 41.53%, head of the National Electoral Commission Tibisay Lucena told a news conference. She noted that more than 8 million of the 19.4 potential voters took part in the elections.
"The balance is very positive, because peace has won, and when peace wins, Venezuela wins too. In spite of violence, the Venezuelans were able to express their opinion," Lucena said. Vice-President of Venezuela’s United Socialist Party Diosdado Cabello earlier said that the turnout at the elections was record high.
Meanwhile, Henrique Capriles, opposition leader and Governor of the State of Miranda, argued that the elections did not enjoy broad support among the population. According to Capriles, the turnout "did not even reach 15% required for convening the Constitutional Assembly (at the referendum - TASS) in accordance with Article 348 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."
Julio Borges, Speaker of the National Assembly, told a news conference on Sunday that the government plans to announce that "8.5 million people" took part in the voting.
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 were injured during the protests staged by the opposition. The authorities arrested about 4,900 protesters, nearly 1,400 of them remain in custody.