House of Lords written question – answered on 21 May 2013.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the resolution of the International Democrat Union Executive at its Helsinki meeting on 14 April 2013 regarding the Venezuelan presidential elections.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We have been following the situation in Venezuela closely and took note of the result of the presidential election announced on 14 April by the National Electoral Commission. We are aware of the resolution of the International Democrat Union (IDU) and Nicolas Maduro Moros was proclaimed winner and inaugurated as President on 19 April. The result was close, with just less than 1.5% between Nicolas Maduro and Henrique Capriles, including the votes from abroad, and Mr Capriles has subsequently lodged a formal legal challenge with the Venezuelan Supreme Court. It will now be for the court to look at these complaints, in line with the procedures set down in relevant legislation. In the meantime the Venezuelan electoral authorities have begun an audit of the votes, which is due to be completed by 4 June. As the IDU resolution points out, it is important that there is full confidence in the electoral system and the results.

The British Government look forward to working with the Government and people of Venezuela to strengthen our relationship and deepen co-operation in areas of mutual interest.

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