EU queries Venezuelan presidential election, hints at slapping sanctions
BRUSSELS, May 22(Xinhua)-- The European Union(EU) Tuesday hit out at the presidential election in Venezuela, warning that the bloc will" consider the adoption of adequate measures."
In a statement on behalf of the EU, Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief, slammed the presidential election for "not complying with the minimum international standards for a credible process", and "not respecting political pluralism, democracy, transparency, and rule of law."
She delivered a broadside at the "major obstacles to the participation of opposition political parties and their leaders, an unbalanced composition of the National Electoral Council, biased electoral conditions, numerous reported irregularities."
"Therefore... the EU and its member states will consider the adoption of adequate measures," she said, hinting at slapping sanctions against Caracas.
The EU's hard-hitting rhetoric came after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro secured a second six-year term in the country's election on Sunday.
After Maduro's re-election, U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order prohibiting certain additional transactions with respect to Venezuela.
The order targets at the Maduro government by banning all transactions by a U.S. individual or an entity within the United States from purchasing any debt owed to the Venezuelan government.
Venezuelan President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena announced late Sunday that Maduro was reelected by a wide margin, garnering over 5.8 million votes, with a voter turnout at 46.01 percent.
Maduro's next closest rival Henri Falcon got around 1.8 million ballots and the third-place candidate Javier Bertucci got 925,042 votes.
Minutes after the electoral body issued its announcement, Maduro celebrated the results, calling on opposition leaders, including former opposition candidates, to take part in a constructive dialogue to promote national peace and prosperity.
Maduro was first elected in 2013, pledging to strengthen the Bolivarian Revolution launched by former President Hugo Chavez.
Commenting on the presidential election, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang on Tuesday stressed it is Venezuela's internal affairs.
"A fundamental principle of China's foreign policy is non-interference in others' domestic affairs," he said.
Lu noted, "If there is any difference, divergence or even contradiction between the U.S. and Venezuela, we sincerely hope that the two countries can properly resolve their differences and problems through friendly negotiations."