CARACAS, Monday April 22, 2013 | Update

Henrique Capriles does not rule out election re-run

Presidential candidate for opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) Henrique Capriles told Spanish newspaper El Mundo in an interview that he is convinced that the outcome of an election audit in Venezuela would lead to a new election, at least partially

Nicolás Maduro's swearing-in does not make him a legitimate president, Capriles argued (File photo: Ramón Espinosa)
Monday April 22, 2013  12:05 PM
Presidential candidate for opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) Henrique Capriles hopes for the best scenario: an election re-run in the short term. In his view, this should be the inevitable result from the electoral audit to be conducted this week on 46% of the ballot boxes that were not audited on April 14 after the presidential vote held in Venezuela.

His comments came in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo. When asked what, in his view, would be the results of the audit, Capriles replied that "an election re-run" would be necessary. He added that, under the law, the vote has to be repeated when irregularities are found.

According to Capriles, the election would be repeated at least partially, but the number of voters involved would be large enough "not only to close the gap, but to give us the victory."

In the event that the relevant authorities refuse to repeat the vote, Capriles said the evidence found would be submitted to both domestic and international bodies to show what happened on April 14 in Venezuela.

"Even if the arbiter pounds the table, all eyes are to watch the result of the audit. Thereafter, the Government may be under the shadow of legitimacy or illegitimacy."

Further, Capriles said that the National Electoral Council (CNE) agreed to conduct the election audit. Therefore, there is no way for the electoral body to refuse to review the voter's rolls, the tally sheets and the paper ballots, because that is precisely what audits involve.

"The election audit is a right, not a concession," Capriles told the Spanish daily.

Neither the proclamation nor the swearing-in of Maduro as president of Venezuela makes him legitimate, said Capriles.

"Maduro does not represent a better future. I have built a leadership by myself, step by step. What have I done? I have worked hard. And I am reaping the fruits. The government's debate between leftwing and rightwing is not the issue of my generation, the modern world. Our debate is between progress and backwardness. We are progressive."

Twitter: @ ocarinaespinoza.
The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."