Two of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders were taken into custody after protesting the vote for a constituent assembly loyal to President Nicolas Maduro – a vote that was subsequently called “manipulated” by the company that provided the election system, Reuters reported.
Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said that “without a doubt” the system was tampered with and added at least a million votes to the turnout, bolstering opposition charges that the results were inflated, NPR said.
Internal election data seen by Reuters put the turnout at around 3.7 million, casting doubt on the more than eight million claimed by authorities.
Meanwhile, the two politicians arrested – Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma – have become part of a pattern of detentions, AP reported.
Still, the proof of voter manipulation appears to have emboldened the opposition, which has called for massive proteststo prevent the assembly from occupying the opposition-led congress.
More than 120 have been killed in protests over the past four months so far.