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POST TIME: 8 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Nicolas Maduro defends rule as legitimate
AFP, Caracas

Nicolas Maduro defends rule as legitimate

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro defended his government's legitimacy Sunday as his bid for a second six-year term has come under growing fire internationally and by the country's opposition-controlled National Assembly.

But in another sign of turmoil around Maduro, who is to be sworn in Thursday, a Supreme Court judge and former ally appeared on US television to denounce last year's election, having fled the country.

"I have decided to leave Venezuela ... to disavow the government of Nicolas Maduro," Christian Zerpa, who sat on a panel that deals with electoral issues, told EVTV Miami. "It was not a free election, it was not a competitive election," he said of last year's vote, going on to accuse Maduro of manipulating the court.