Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2017 Contents A19
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
wins disputed polls
Electoral Council said candi-
dates for the socialist movement
founded by the late President
Hugo Chavez won nearly all of
the 23 governorships up for grabs
in Sunday's regional elections.
Opposition leaders disputed the
accuracy of the vote count.
Independent pollsters had pro-
jected the opposition would ride
a wave of discontent over Vene-
zuela's economic calamity and
win a majority of the state elec-
tions for the irst time in nearly
two decades of socialist rule.
Tibisay Lucena, the pro-gov-
ernment president of the elec-
toral council, said socialist party
candidates won 17 of the 22 races
in which the outcomes were
considered "irreversible" late
Sunday. One race was still unde-
Lucena said 61 per cent of the
nation's 18 million voters partici-
pated in the elections, far higher
than many people had antici-
Even before the results were
announced, opposition leader
Gerardo Blyde said there was
reason to question the results. He
said the opposition's count would
be "very different" from the elec-
toral council's results.
The disputed result threatened
to heighten an already tense
standoff between the govern-
ment and opposition.
"There is a wide disparity be-
tween the poll numbers and the
results which show that these
elections were not free and fair
and don't reflect the will of the
people," said Michael Shifter,
president of the Inter-American
Dialogue. "I think that's going to
deepen the polarization."
Throughout Sunday, President
Nicolas Maduro and socialist party
leaders said the election would be
proof that Venezuela remains a de-
mocracy and not a dictatorship, as
a rising number of foreign leaders
have begun to call the nation.
"They've said we are a dictator-
ship," Maduro said in a televised
address to the nation during the
day. "No. We are a democratic
people, rebellious, and with an
egalitarian sensibility." (AP)
Supporters of pro-government gubernatorial candidate for Miranda state,
Hector Rodriguez, bang pans and shouts insults at opposition candidate
Carlos Ocariz as he arrives to a polling station during regional elections in
Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday.
Bomb kills 'Panama Papers' reporter
M A LTA ---A Maltese investigative
journalist who exposed the island
nation's links to offshore tax ha-
vens through the leaked Panama
Papers was killed yesterday when
a bomb exploded in her car, the
prime minister said.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had
just driven away from her home
in Mosta, a large town on Malta's
main island, when the bomb went
off, sending the vehicle's wreck-
age spiraling over a wall and into a
ield, Prime Minister Joseph Mus-
One of the topics the veteran
reporter examined was what the
documents from the 2016 leak said
about Malta. She wrote that Mus-
cat's wife, the country's ener y
minister and the government's
chief-of-staff had offshore holdings
in Panama to receive money from
Muscat and his wife, Michelle,
denied they had companies in
Caruana Galizia iled a police re-
port two weeks ago saying she was
receiving threats, law enforcement
of icials told Malta news outlets on
A half hour before she was
killed, she posted to her web site
an item about a libel claim the
prime minister's chief of staff had
brought against a former oppo-
sition over comments the latter
made about corruption.
Yesterday's Parliament session
was scrapped, except for brie ings
about the bombing given by Mus-
cat and Opposition leader Adrian
Delia, who called the reporter's
slaying a "political murder."
Caruana Galizia is survived by
her husband and three sons. One
son, Matthew, was on the Interna-
tional Consortium of Investigative
Journalists team that won the Pu-
litzer Prize for its work on the Pan-
ama Papers scandal.
The leak exposed the identities
of rich and powerful people around
the world who allegedly had off-
shore holdings in Panama. (AP)
Dozens die in Portugal wild ires
LISBON---Late season wild ires
that broke out over the weekend
in Portugal have killed at least 35
people, including a 1-month-old
infant, authorities said yesterday,
making 2017 by far the deadliest
year on record for forest blazes
in the country.
In neighbouring Spain, wild-
ires have also killed at least
four people and prompted the
evacuation of thousands in the
northwest region of Galicia, as
the remnants of winds from Hur-
ricane Ophelia fanned the flames
along Iberia's Atlantic coast.
The ires returned to Portu-
gal four months after a summer
blaze claimed 64 lives in one
night. The year's current total of
99 deaths is far higher than the
previous annual record of 25, in
A one-month-old baby was
among the dead, the Civil Pro-
tection Agency said Monday. The
infant's body was found near
Tabua, 120 miles north of Lisbon.
The parent's bodies reportedly
were found nearby. Of icials did
not provide further details.
Civil Protection Agency spokes-
woman Patricia Gaspar said the
death toll could rise.
More than 5,300 ire ight-
ers with more than 1,600 vehi-
cles were still battling the ires
through dense pine and eucalyp-
tus forests Monday.
Portugal endures widespread
forest blazes every summer. Most
ires are set deliberately, of icials
say, and spread quickly due to
poor forest management which
leaves debris that fuels ires.
Emergency services recorded
523 wild ires Sunday, the highest
number in a single day this year.
A prolonged drought has made
the calamity worse this year.
Spain's prime minister focused
on criminal intent, and said au-
thorities were certain the ires
were caused by arsonists. (AP)
A Police scientist inspects the remains of the car where two women died
after a wild fire in Pontevedra, in the northwestern Spanish region of
Galicia, Spain, yesterday. Authorities say strong winds have caused multiple
deaths as people got trapped by fast moving fires.
The wreckage of the car of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia (inset) lies next to a road in the town of
Mosta, Malta, yesterday.
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