Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro wins presidential elections by narrow margin
April 14, 2013
On 19 April, Nicolas Maduro - Chavez' handpicked successor and candidate for the coalition led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) - was sworn in as president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela after winning the snap presidential election held following President Hugo Chavez's death. According to the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE), Maduro garnered 50.8% of the vote, while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles obtained 49.0% of the vote.
The result of the election came under heavy criticism by the opposition amid allegations of fraud, triggering a wave of violence against governmental buildings and PSUV offices in the days following the election. Moreover, Capriles has refused to accept the electoral outcome and has requested a full recount of the votes. Against this backdrop, on 18 April, the CNE announced that it will audit the remaining 46% of the votes that were not verified on the election night - after the poll stations closed at the end of the election day, a random audit of 54% of the votes was carried out. However, the CNE has made clear that this action does not represent an official recount while adding that, if the opposition wanted to challenge the elections, it should address to the Supreme Court instead.