Diane Abbott said past Venezuela elections were more robust than in Britain
Diane Abbott said past-elections in crisis-stricken Venezuela were more robust than in the UK, it has emerged.
Speaking in 2012 the now Shadow Home Secretary insisted votes in the South American state were “less liable to fraud and impersonation” than they were in Britain.
Footage of her comments was unearthed by the Sun on Sunday just days after the London firm that oversaw a controversial election in Venezuela claimed results were tampered with.
Smartmatic said the election for a new assembly to re-write the constitution – widely seen as a power grab by president Nicolás Maduro – said turnout figures were inflated.
But after overseeing the 2012 re-election of Mr Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez, Ms Abbott hailed the Venezuelan voting system and said it used to be robust.
“You cannot stress enough that technically it’s a very clean and robust election process,” she told a Venezuela solidarity event.
“It’s actually less liable to fraud and impersonation than the British election process – which I know well because I’ve fought five general elections.
“It’s clearly a better process than the one the Americans had in the 2,000 presidential election.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under increasing pressure to speak out against the Venezuelan regime after giving President Maduro his support in the past.
The controversy and economic crisis in the country has sparked violence on the streets which has left a number of people dead and seen opposition leaders arrested.