US 'deeply concerned' by brawl in Venezuela assembly
The United States said Wednesday it was "deeply concerned" by a brawl in Venezuela's parliament, urging calm in the wake of the country's disputed presidential elections.
Political tensions boiled over in the National Assembly Tuesday as government and opposition lawmakers clashed physically.
"Let me speak clearly: violence has no place in a representative, democratic system and is particulary inappropiate within a National Assembly," US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters in Washington.
"We're deeply concerned by the violence that occurred, express our solidarity with those injured and again we urge all parties to refrain from acts and attitudes which contribute to physical confrontation."
He added that "the rights of all Venezuelans to assemble and speak their minds are essential components of democracy."
President Nicolas Maduro was declared the winner of the April 14 vote to replace the late Hugo Chavez as Venezuela's leader.
But opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has claimed widespread voter fraud and announced Wednesday that his campaign will formally contest the results in a Supreme Court filing.
Ventrell also reiterated Washington's request for a vote recount.