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Thousands protest against Venezuela president-elect

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Caracas Monday, banging pots, burning trash bags and chanting "fraud" to protest the confirmation of late leader Hugo Chavez's political heir as president-elect.

The protests erupted as the National Electoral Council (CNE) certified the victory of acting President Nicolas Maduro against opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who refused to concede defeat and demanded a recount.

At one spot, police dispersed a group of protesters with tear gas.

"We are here because they stole our vote. They cheated us," said 60-year-old Selma Orjuela as she banged a pot. "We need Capriles to be president. That's why we voted and we are sure we won."

Earlier, Capriles had urged his supporters to come out with pots and pans to loudly demand that the National Electoral Council recount the vote.

But the council handed the certified results to Maduro, saying he had won with 50.75 percent of the vote compared to 48.97 percent for Capriles -- a difference of 265,000 votes.

Capriles called for protests outside CNE offices on Tuesday.

mis-lth/vlk

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/thousands-protest-against-venezuela-president-elect