Venezuela AG investigating potential fraud in controversial election

Aug. 3 (UPI) — Venezuela’s attorney general has become the latest critic of President Nicolas Maduro to cast doubt on the validity of the country’s recent election.

Luisa Ortega Diaz told CNN on Wednesday that she’s started an investigation into potential voter fraud and manipulation surrounding the recent election backed by Maduro.

The vote, held last weekend, created an entirely new legislature that has the ability to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution to favor Maduro’s policies.

Maduro said more than 8 million Venezuelans voted in the election, but Smartmatic, the company handling the technology at the polls, said it could not endorse the accuracy of the vote.

The London-based company said in a statement that the vote was manipulated, “without any doubt.” Citing concerns for employees’ safety, the company ordered them to leave the country, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

Smartmatic said it thinks the totals Maduro disclosed were inflated by at least 1 million votes, but Ortega Diaz said she thinks it’s possible the total number of voters was fewer than 4 million.

The attorney general said Wednesday she has two prosecutors investigating top elections officials in the country.

Maduro has said Smartmatic’s president was “pressured to the neck by the [U.S.] gringos and the Brits.”

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