Protests Rage After Venezuela Refuses to Recount

Capriles not accepting 'illegitimate ' result

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2013 1:56 AM CDT | Updated Apr 16, 2013 5:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police in Caracas fired tear gas to disperse furious opposition supporters after Venezuelan electoral authorities decided there would be no recount of the presidential election result, despite Nicolas Maduro's slender margin of victory. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles insists that he, not Hugo Chavez's anointed heir, is the real winner and he has called for his supporters to hold more protests today, while Maduro's supporters plan rallies of their own, Reuters reports.

"We are not going to ignore the will of the people. We believe we won," Capriles said, urging authorities to not confirm the "illegitimate" election result until alleged voting irregularities are investigated. "We want this problem resolved peacefully," he said. "There is no majority here, there are two halves." The Venezuelan government has agreed to an audit of the electronic counting system, but it has rejected calls for a manual recount, the BBC reports. A White House spokesman says an audit of results appears to be an "important, prudent, and necessary step.'

An opposition supporter bangs during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, last night.
An opposition supporter bangs during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, last night.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Demonstrators shout slogans against the government and the official election results in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela.
Demonstrators shout slogans against the government and the official election results in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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