Skip to main content

Official: Venezuela will audit 100% of election results

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Fri April 19, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The decision to audit votes comes after Sunday's tight presidential election
  • Opposition Henrique Capriles Radonski had alleged violations, requested the audit
  • Capriles congratulates his supporters, but says "the fight is not finished"
  • A swearing-in ceremony for Maduro is scheduled for Friday

(CNN) -- Venezuela's top election official said Thursday that authorities will complete a 100% audit of votes cast in Sunday's presidential election.

Tibisay Lucena, president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, said officials decided on the audit after a lengthy debate.

Officials had already audited 54% of ballot boxes, and now will audit the remaining 46%, she said.

READ MORE: Why Venezuela is so divided

The decision comes after opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski filed complaints with election officials about thousands of alleged violations during Sunday's vote.

Venezuelan amb.: Opposition is sore loser
Chaos in Caracas after election

"The electoral power is making this decision in order to preserve a climate of harmony between Venezuelans, but also to isolate violent sectors that are irresponsibly trying to harm democracy," Lucena said.

Capriles said he accepted the council's decision Thursday because he believes that the problems his campaign spotted would be detected in the audit of the remaining 46%.

"I want to congratulate our people, because this was your fight," Capriles said late Thursday.

Earlier this week, Lucena certified the election results and declared Nicolas Maduro president-elect, despite Capriles' calls for a vote-by-vote recount.

Maduro secured 50.8% of votes in Sunday's election, while Capriles won 49%, election officials said earlier this week.

Maduro is scheduled to be sworn in at a ceremony in Caracas on Friday. It was unclear late Thursday whether the audit would impact plans for his inauguration.

The audit will take about 30 days and will involve comparing results from voting machines with printed reports and registries containing voters' signatures, Venezuelan constitutional lawyer Jose Vicente Haro told CNN en EspaƱol.

At the time of the electoral council's announcement, the president-elect was in Lima, Peru, where South American presidents were in an emergency meeting to discuss Venezuela's elections.

The narrow vote margin has sparked mounting tensions in Venezuela after the closely watched election to pick Hugo Chavez's successor to the presidency.

Venezuela's state-run AVN news agency said at least eight people have been killed in postelection violence across the country. The government news agency tied the deaths to opposition protests and said the victims were all followers of Maduro. CNN could not independently confirm the government reports of violence, and it was unknown whether there were any opposition injuries or fatalities.

On nights since the hotly contested vote, supporters of Capriles have banged pots and pans to protest the government's refusal to recount the votes, while supporters of Maduro have set off fireworks to celebrate his victory and drown out the noise.

Before he departed for Lima Thursday, Maduro sharply criticized the opposition in Venezuela and accused them of staging a coup against him.

"In Venezuela we do not have an opposition. ... We have a conspiracy," he said.

Despite protests, he said he would be inaugurated on Friday with a large ceremony and a military parade "because our only commitment is to the people and to the memory of Hugo Chavez.""

A smiling Capriles urged his supporters Thursday not to be discouraged by Friday's ceremony, and to stay home listening to salsa music.

"This fight has not finished. ... I am sure that sooner rather than later the truth will come out," he said.

READ MORE: Tensions mount after tight Venezuelan vote; government says 7 killed in post-election violence

CNN's Rafael Romo and Fernando del Rincon contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 8:27 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
updated 8:22 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
updated 5:34 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT