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Opposition seeks to overturn Venezuelan election

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Caracas, May 2 (EFE).- The campaign of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on Thursday asked Venezuela's Supreme Court to overturn the April 14 vote that resulted in a narrow victory for ruling-party standard-bearer Nicolas Maduro.

The motion applies to the entire process surrounding the special election called after the March 5 death of President Hugo Chavez after a long battle with cancer, attorney Gerardo Fernandez told reporters.

"The goal of this appeal is ... that the elections be repeated," he said.

Capriles is also asking that two senior judges of the Supreme Court's electoral chamber be excluded from hearing the appeal because of their ties to the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the lawyer for the campaign said.

Maduro defeated Capriles by a margin of 272,000 votes, or 1.8 percent of the total, according to official results from the CNE electoral council.

Capriles, however, said he would not accept the outcome without a full recount.

The Venezuelan electoral system relies on electronic voting backed up by paper ballots and the CNE automatically reviews a random sample of 54 percent of the votes to detect discrepancies between the electronic tabulation and the paper records.

Four days after the voting, the CNE agreed to review the remaining 46 percent, but, after initially welcoming the plan, Capriles and his team pronounced it unsatisfactory and moved ahead with the effort to overturn the election.

Maduro was inaugurated April 19, with the majority of Latin American heads of state and government in attendance.

Chavez defeated Capriles by 55.5 percent to 44.39 percent in the Oct. 7, 2012, presidential election, a difference of 1.6 million votes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130502/opposition-seeks-overturn-venezuelan-election