Maduro sworn in for second term as Venezuela president

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 25.01.2019 11:52
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) walks flanked by First Lady Cilia Flores and the president of the  Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) Maikel Moreno (R) upon arrival for the inauguration ceremony of his second mandate (AFP Photo)
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) walks flanked by First Lady Cilia Flores and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) Maikel Moreno (R) upon arrival for the inauguration ceremony of his second mandate (AFP Photo)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in Thursday for a second term, amid cheers and applause by a crowd of hundreds attending the inauguration in Caracas.

Maduro, 56, was sworn in by Supreme Court president Maikel Moreno.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay attended the swearing-in ceremony as an envoy of Turkey's goodwill toward Venezuela.

Representatives from more than 90 countries, including Bolivian President Eva Morales and Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel, attended the ceremony.

The ceremony was boycotted by the European Union, United States and Venezuela's South American neighbors, who have branded Maduro's leadership illegitimate.

Meanwhile, the Lima Group, comprising mostly Latin American countries, said that they will not recognize Maduro's presidency.

Mexico, the only member of the group which did not sign the decision, was represented by commercial attache in Caracas.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday agreed "to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term as of the 10th of January of 2019," the bloc said in a statement.

"The resolution was approved with 19 votes in favor, 6 against, 8 abstentions and one absent," the statement added.

Maduro won a second term in office in May.

The 55-year-old won some 5.8 million votes, or 68 percent of the total, while main opposition candidate Henri Falcon won 1.8 million votes or 21.2 percent.

Turnout was around 46 percent — the lowest in a presidential race in two decades of revolution. About 20.5 million people were eligible to vote, but many analysts predicted a low turnout after the opposition alliance Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) called on voters to boycott the poll.

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