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Costa Rica, Lima Group call for urgent audit of Venezuelan elections

The 12 countries that make up the recently formed Lima Group demanded on Tuesday that an urgent “independent audit” of the Venezuelan electoral process be carried out.

In a joint statement, the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru said that the audit should “clear up the controversy about the results of those elections and determine the true pronouncement of the Venezuelan people.”

The ruling Venezuelan party won 17 of the 23 states in dispute in the elections. While it controlled 20 before Sunday’s elections, the government of President Nicolás Maduro qualified the result as a major victory, since polls showed the opposition as the clear favorite in the elections.

The Lima Group was created in August in Peru, when its member countries condemned the “rupture” of the democratic order in Venezuela and announced they did not recognize the Constitutional Assembly being carried out by Maduro. The process to create the assembly in July was deemed fraudulent by opposition leaders and was not recognized by a number of governments in America and Europe.

The Venezuelan opposition, which dominated legislative elections in 2015, appears to have lost some of its supporters, disappointed by their failure to remove Maduro from power during four months of protests that left 125 dead between April and July.

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