CARACAS, Jul. 31 (Press Shia) – Venezuela Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino assured that the country is calm and orderly on this Sunday elections for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), despite several flashpoints of violence that were put under control.
Padrino said that 140,000 members of the security forces are deployed as part of Operation Republic to safeguard the right of Venezuelans to exercise their rights to vote in the nation 335 municipalities and help the electoral authorities carry out their work without disturbances.
Venezuelans are voting to elect 537 members out of the 545 of ANC will have. The remaining 18 will be chosen by the aboriginal communities on August 1.
The Minister told the media that acts of vandalism occurred in areas of the states of Zulia, Merida, Tachira and Trujillo where some 100 voting machines were destroyed by violent groups paid by the Venezuelan rightist opposition.
The opposition had called for a Constituent Assembly against the government of President Nicolas Maduro; however, after he called for constituent elections to choose over 500 representatives to the NCA, some ultra right-wing parties rejected it.
“We are celebrating a fiesta of democracy,” asserted the head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena who assured that problems that arouse in several districts caused by violent opponents who tried to keep neighbors from voting were resolved.
Lucena said 99,5% of the polling stations are functioning in an environment of calm and order. She reiterated that polling stations will remain open until all citizens lining up to cast their ballots vote.
This is the 21st electoral democratic exercise since Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela in 1999.NEC head pointed out that the first results will be issued three hours after all the polling stations close.