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Venezuelan opposition contests presidential vote in country's high court

By Rafael Romo and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 4:13 PM EDT, Thu May 2, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An attorney for the opposition says he presented a long list of irregularities
  • Capriles has said the results were illegitimate and new elections should be held
  • Nicolas Maduro has stressed that he won a clear majority of votes
  • Tensions have been running high; on Tuesday there was a brawl in the National Assembly

(CNN) -- Venezuela's opposition filed a lawsuit with the country's Supreme Court Thursday, contesting last month's presidential vote.

Gerardo Fernandez, an attorney for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski's campaign, said he had presented a long list of election irregularities that totaled more than 180 pages.

"We have come to contest the entire electoral process and the April 14 elections," he said.

Last week, Capriles told CNN affiliate Globovision that the results were illegitimate and new elections should be held.

"According to the law," he said, "what should happen would be a new election, without any of the irregularities that we have denounced."

After the closely watched vote to pick Hugo Chavez's successor, elections officials said Nicolas Maduro won 51% of votes. Maduro, Chavez's political heir, was sworn in as president at an April 19 inauguration ceremony.

Maduro has stressed that he won a clear majority of votes in the election and accused Capriles and his supporters of inciting violence. In numerous public appearances and national television broadcasts, he's vowed to use an iron fist to crack down on any coup attempts.

While both Maduro and Capriles have publicly called for peace after the announcement of the tight election results, tensions have been running high in Venezuela.

On Tuesday, a brawl broke out in the halls of the country's National Assembly.

During the fight, government cameras broadcasting the session on state television pointed toward the ceiling. Videos sent to CNN en EspaƱol and CNN affiliate Globovision by opposition lawmakers showed punches being thrown as some tried to break up the fight.

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