Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro

Reports say Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has won re-election to another six-year term.

Forty-six percent of the electorate turned out to vote.

The main opposition candidate, Henri Falcón, rejected the result soon after the polls closed.

“We do not recognise this electoral process as valid… we have to have new elections in Venezuela,” he said

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Mr Maduro (55) had 67.7 percent – 5.8 million votes – National Electoral Council chief  Tibisay Lucena announced.

Mr Falcón won 21.2 percent – 1.8 million votes.

“They underestimated me,” Mr Maduro told cheering supporters outside his presidential palace in Caracas, as fireworks went off and confetti was fired in the air.

Mr Falcón has alleged that the vote was rigged in Mr Maduro’s favour, by abuse of the scanning of state-issued benefits cards used for accessing food.

Government officials said the polls were “free and fair” but most of the opposition joined a boycott against the poll.

The administration of the US President Donald Trump said it would not recognise the result. 

-BBC