Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro talks next to Venezuela's Vice President Jorge Arreaza during a Council of Ministers meeting at Miraflores Palace in Caracas - REUTERS
WASHINGTON - 4 August 2017: The United States will not recognize Venezuela's new national constituent assembly, the State Department said on Thursday, calling it "the illegitimate product of a flawed process."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has defended the newly minted superbody, created as a result of a Sunday vote and which countries around the world have criticized as a bid to indefinitely extend his rule, the Daily Mail reported.
"The United States considers the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly the illegitimate product of a flawed process designed by the Maduro dictatorship to further its assault on democracy," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, citing problems from the way the election was decreed to the design of the balloting.
Maduro is widely criticized for an economic crisis marked by triple-digit inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.
Venezuela's opposition, which boycotted the vote, has dismissed the official tally as fraudulent. The company that provides the country's voting machines said the government's claim that 8.1 million votes were cast in the poll overestimated the tally by at least 1 million.
Maduro on Wednesday rejected accusations that his government inflated turnout figures, branding them part of an effort to stain what he called a clean and transparent vote.