OTTAWA: The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations on Wednesday rejected Venezuela's presidential election outcome, saying Nicolas Maduro's win lacks "legitimacy and credibility" and calling for a new vote.
In a joint statement, the G7 leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, along with the European Union, said they "are united in rejecting the electoral process" that led to the May 20 ballot.
"By failing to meet accepted international standards and not securing the basic guarantees for an inclusive, fair and democratic process, this election and its outcome lack legitimacy and credibility," they said.
"We therefore denounce the Venezuelan presidential election, and its result, as it is not representative of the democratic will of the citizens of Venezuela."
The election was widely condemned by the international community as a sham. Maduro won with 68 percent of the vote but the polls were boycotted by the main opposition parties and had a high abstention rate.
The United States has already tightened sanctions against Venezuela after the poll, while the EU said it was weighing new sanctions.
The 14 countries of the Lima Group -- which includes Argentina, Brazil and Canada, which will host G7 leaders on June 8-9 -- are also refusing to recognize the result.
The G7 said the Venezuelan government had "missed the opportunity for an urgently needed political rectification."
They called for Maduro's government "to restore constitutional democracy in Venezuela, schedule free and fair elections that can truly reflect the democratic will of the people, immediately release all political prisoners, restore the authority of the National Assembly and provide for full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian actors."