The Venezuelan Election Commission has said that a fire in the capital Caracas over the weekend burned down tens of thousands of voting machines for elections.
The commission added thats some people tried to disrupt the election process in this way.
Election Commission Chairman Tivise Lucena said in a statement that a large warehouse containing voting devices and other equipment caught fire on Saturday without causing any casualties, but nearly 50,000 voting machines and nearly 600 computers were burned and staff members.
Lucena said that only a few devices were “rescued”.
She did not disclose how much equipment was available, did not mention whether the fire would affect the parliamentary elections scheduled for this year, but warned that “if some small groups believe that doing so would disrupt the constitutional electoral process, they are very wrong “.
Lucena said local authorities have started investigating the cause of the fire.
Some western media have reported that the fire has complicated the situation surrounding the Venezuelan parliamentary elections.
Venezuela will hold parliamentary elections this year. In the December 2015 parliamentary elections, the opposition coalition won the majority.
The Venezuelan government has stated on several occasions that the ruling party is fully confident of winning back parliamentary control.
Opposition chief Juan Guaido assumed the presidency of the parliament in January 2019, then declared himself “provisional president” and won support from some pro-American countries in the U.S. and Latin America.
However, after the failed coup d’état, Guaido’s domestic and international support continued to decline, while being rejected by the opposition camp.
The Venezuelan parliament held a plenary session on Jan. 5.
In the internal general election, the member of the parliament, Luis Para, was elected as the new chairman of the parliament and was recognised by President Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido did not attend the day’s plenary and refused to acknowledge the vote.