EFE; BBC; FRANCE24 (France); EL UNIVERSAL, EL NACIONAL (Venezuela)
CARACAS - Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro declared himself the narrow winner of Venezuela's highly anticipated presidential election, but his opponent has already demanded a recount.
The Spanish news agency EFE reported the final tallies were 50.66% for Maduro and 49.07% for rival candidate Henrique Capriles, according to Venezuela's national election commission.
After the results were announced late on Sunday night, Capriles declared that he will contest the result, demanding a recount, because there were too many irregularities during the process. “This result does not reflect the reality of what Venezuelans want and aspire to be. Mr Maduro, if you were illegitimate before, now you are more so.”
Henrique Capriles Radonski's Official Facebook Page
El Universal reports that Capriles said there were more than 300,000 votes that would need to be examined again, citing a list of 3,200 “incidents” that took place during the vote.
Capriles accused the government of pressuring civil servants into voting for Maduro, as well as letting people vote after the polling stations closed, writes France24.
Venezuela uses electronic voting machines that print out a paper ballot as a backup for any recounts. The BBC writes that the votes will be recounted by hand.
Maduro has accepted the call for a recount, saying that he has nothing to hide, reports EFE. “At least this way,” Maduro said, “we’ll win more votes”.
Nicolas Maduro Moros' Official Facebook Page