21:35 GMT12 August 2020
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan opposition, which controls the parliament, is planning to push for a new presidential election to be held by the end of 2018, National Assembly President Omar Barboza said.

    "We will fight to hold the election in the last quarter of the year," Barboza said Monday. The National Assembly president added that the latest vote had only made the situation in the country worse.

    A number of foreign governments have denounced the results of the election. Opposition candidate Henri Falcon, who came in second, has slammed the election process over irregularities.

    The Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie has said that the Lima Group countries would consider additional diplomatic measures against Venezuela following the outcome of the presidential election. Argentina's top diplomat noted that the actions of the Lima Group, a union of states established specifically to address the crisis in Venezuela, has helped to "avoid international legitimization of the government of [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro."

    On Monday, the Lima Group agreed to reduce their level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, recalling their ambassadors for consultations and lodging protests with Venezuelan envoys following the outcome of the presidential vote.

    On Sunday, Maduro was re-elected as president of Venezuela after garnering more than 5.8 million votes — roughly 68 percent of the total — in the country’s national election.

    The turnout stood at 46 percent, or slightly more than 9.1 million people. Maduro’s main opponent Henri Falcon obtained more than 1.9 million votes, while Evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci got 989,000 votes.

    The vote took place amid a severe financial crisis in the Latin American country, the economy of which has been hit by dropping oil prices. The nation also experienced months of violent mass protests last year, which initially were a response to the highest court's decision to severely limit the parliament's legislative powers.


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