April 16, 2013

Maduro wins Venezuela elections

Tue Apr 16, 2013

(CNN) — Election authorities proclaimed Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor Venezuela’s president-elect Monday, despite his challenger’s demand for a recount.{{more}}

“It was a result that was truly fair, constitutional and popular,” Nicolas Maduro said, criticizing his opponent’s refusal to concede.

Maduro secured 50.8 per cent of votes in Sunday’s election, while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski won 49.0 per cent, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council said Monday.

The South American country’s top election official certified the results at a ceremony in Caracas, saying Venezuela’s voting system had worked perfectly.

Maduro, who billed himself throughout the campaign as Chavez’s political heir, told supporters Monday that the former president’s son-in-law would be executive vice president during his six-year term.

Jorge Arreaza has been Venezuela’s science and technology minister and is married to Chavez’s daughter, Rosa Virginia.

Earlier Monday, Capriles called on his supporters to protest and slammed Maduro as an “illegitimate” leader.

“If both sides have said that they want to count vote for vote, what is the rush? What are they hiding? Why do we have to accelerate the process?” he said. “What they want is for the truth not to be known.”

Capriles called on Venezuelans to bang pots and pans in peaceful protest Monday night, then head to local election offices to demand a recount on Tuesday.

The head of Maduro’s campaign accused Capriles of inciting violence.

“This man, Capriles, does not know how to lose,” Jorge Rodriguez, the head of Maduro’s campaign, told reporters Monday.