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South American leaders likely to back Venezuela's Maduro in emergency meeting

Despite complaints from some Venezuelans that Sunday's election had irregularities, analysts say leaders in the region will likely support Mr. Maduro’s election in order to maintain stability.

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Venezuela's interim President Nicolás Maduro raises his fist as he holds up the official certificate declaring him winner of the presidential election at the Electoral Council in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday. South American leaders will attend an emergency meeting tonight in Lima, Peru, to discuss the contested election of President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

Ariana Cubillos/AP

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Presidents from across South America will attend an emergency meeting tonight in Lima, Peru, to discuss the contested election of President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

Analysts say they will likely support Mr. Maduro’s election in order to maintain stability and avoid a fruitless fight, despite ongoing complaints from some Venezuelans that the election was fraudulent.

“It’s the appropriate forum,” says Adrian Bonilla, general secretary of the Latin American Faculty of Social Science, an international research organization headquartered in Costa Rica. “If they adopt a resolution, that’s going to be definitive.”

The meeting was called by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in his role as president of Unasur, a body of all 12 independent South American states. Unasur is a forum for political discussions that was founded as a local body for dispute resolution in order to increase South American independence. It gained legitimacy as a regional player when it supported President Rafael Correa of Ecuador against what he said was a coup attempt in December 2010, and by suspending Paraguay’s membership after the hasty removal of President Fernando Lugo last year.

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