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Venezuela puts vote machines to test

Venezuela’s elections council has held a mock ballot to test the country’s electronic voting system a month ahead of legislative elections.

According to Venezuelan authorities, no problems were detected during the simulated vote which was held on Sunday.

More than 4,000 touch-screen voting machines and biometric identification devices, which have been installed for the September 26 elections, were used during the test, Associated Press reported.

Some foes of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had previously claimed that the new electronic voting system is susceptible to rigging. However, the country’s election authorities have denied the allegations stressing that tampering is no threat to the system.

Next month’s legislative elections is set to determine whether Chavez can secure the two-thirds majority needed to proceed with his democratic socialist agenda without any obstructions from the increasingly hard-line Right.

The strategic aim of the Right wing is to enhance institutional penetration by US military, intelligence and “aid” agencies, in order to weaken President Chavez’s independent foreign policy initiatives and pressure his government to make concessions to the White House.

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