Venezuelan opposition figure Henrique Capriles demanded Sunday voting stations close before 7:00 p.m., when the National Electoral Council had declared they must remain open “so that everyone has a chance to vote.”
Participation appears to have been high in Sunday’s elections, meaning many booths need to stay open in order to cater to all voters.
“Attention: We call on all Venezuelans who voted to go to their voting centers and demand their closure where there are no voters,” Capriles tweeted.
ATENCIÓN: Convocamos a todos los vzlanos que votaron ir a su centro y exigir cerrar mesas donde no hayan electores!— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) December 6, 2015
“Attention: We call on all Venezuelans who voted to go to their voting centers and demand their closure where there are no voters.”
In another tweet, Capriles claimed the lines outside voting stations were part of a conspiracy.
“The pretend lines show what the PSUV controls. Continue closing the voting centers! Lets enforce the law,” he said.
It's unclear why Capriles believes the lines are fake, as it isn't unusual for voting stations to remain open late in Venezuela. In recent elections, many voting stations have remained open past 7 pm.
COLAS simuladas muestran los medios controlados por el psuv,sigamos cerrando centros!Hagamos cumplir la ley!— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) December 6, 2015
"The pretend LINES show what the PSUV controls. Continue closing the voting centers! Lets enforce the law."
Under Venezuelan law, voting booths cannot close if potential voters are still queued outside. Article 121 of the Electoral Processes Law states, “Electoral booths function from 6 am to 6 pm … and must remain open while voters are waiting.”
In past elections, Capriles has accused the government of fraud, but has repeatedly failed to provide any evidence to back up his claims. In the wake of the 2013 presidential race, Capriles called on his supporters to “unleash their rage” after he narrowly lost to President Nicolas Maduro. In the ensuring violence, over a dozen people were killed.
Despite Sunday's National Assembly election being calm, fears of renewed opposition violence in Venezuelat have been simmering for months.
Maduro himself has repeatedly warned there is a concerted and orchestrated campaign to de-legitimize the elections, while the opposition coalition has refused to commit to recognizing the results, leading to speculation that they may cry fraud should they fail to win.