The European Parliament has refused to recognize the results of the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election, and condemned Caracas for numerous violations of the country’s constitution and international law, EU Parliament President’s press service said Monday.
On Sunday, Venezuela held an election to select members of the Constituent Assembly, a new legislative body with the power to amend the constitution. The election was held amid mass protests across the country that have already resulted in over 110 deaths.
“As President of the European Parliament, the only European institution directly elected by European citizens, I give my full support to the representatives of the Venezuelan people: the National Assembly. We will not recognize this election … It is very clear that the current regime is clinging to power. The will of the people is to change the regime,” EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani said, as quoted in the statement.
Tajani stressed that the actions of the Venezuelan authorities were not a solution to the problems in the country.
“It is a sad day for democracy in Venezuela, in Latin America and in the world as international treaties and the country’s own constitution are violated, most importantly, against the will of the people,” Tajani said.
EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva added that the commission had “grave doubts as to whether the election results can be recognized,” adding that Brussels was preoccupied with the violence and excessive use of force used by the Venezuelan authorities at the latest election.
According to Andreeva, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini is currently working on a joint response on behalf of the European Union.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro convened the Constituent Assembly to restore peace in a beleaguered country, but the opposition fears that a new legislative body will only serve to solidify the current government’s hold onto power.
According to the National Electoral Council, the voter turnout was just over 41.5 percent. However, after publishing photos of empty polling stations throughout the day, the country’s opposition is now disputing the figure. Maduro’s opponents suggest that only about 10 percent of voters came out to cast their ballots. According to the country’s Public Prosecutor’s office, the investigation is underway into the deaths of ten people during the Sunday rallies.