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Venezuela to expand audit of election vote

© Photo: AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-19

Venezuela’s election council will audit the remaining 46 percent of ballots that were not reviewed after Sunday’s contested presidential elections. Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles said he believed the truth would now come out.

Venezuela’s election authority said on Thursday that it would review the remaining 46 percent of electronic votes that were not checked following Nicolas Maduro’s victory in presidential elections on April 14.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) audited 54 percent of voting machines on election night, as part of its own standard procedures, later declaring Maduro the winner of the ballot with a very tight margin.

Pointing out thousands of alleged irregularities, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles made an official request for a full, vote-by-vote recount at the CNE’s headquarters on Wednesday.

Announcing the decision to widen the vote audit, CNE president Tibisay Lucena said in a televised speech that the measure was being taken “in order to preserve a climate of harmony… and isolate violent sectors that are seeking to injure democracy.”

Andrew Rosati, a GNR correspondent in Caracas, said the audit represented a middle ground between completely dismissing calls for a recount and the 100% recount Capriles demaded.

“They are not going to count every individual vote, but they are going to review around 12,000 boxes of voter slips,” Rosati said, noting that the expanded audit could last about one month.

“The opposition is accepting this as a victory, hopefully calming some of the tensions,” he added.

Deadly post-election violence broke out this week after the CNE declared Maduro the winner of the election, with eight people killed and dozens more wounded.

Inauguration to go forward

Regardless of the CNE’s new auditing task, Maduro was being sworn in as president in Caracas on Friday around 1pm, with several Latin American leaders expected to attend.

Key regional players, including Brazil, Argentina, as well as neighbouring Colombia have already recognised Maduro as the legitimate president of the oil-rich nation.

The United States has still not recognised Maduro as the winner of the poll, and has backed calls for a full recount.

Capriles, who is the governor of Miranda state, called for his supporters to play music from their homes in protest of Friday’s inauguration.
 

Date created : 2013-04-19

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