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Recount found no discrepancies, Venezuelan election officials say

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Caracas, Jun 11 (EFE).- A review of 100 percent of the ballots cast in the April 14 special election to choose a replacement for deceased President Hugo Chavez uncovered no discrepancies with the official results, Venezuela's National Electoral Council, or CNE, said Tuesday.

"These results testify to an undeniable reality: the electoral procedure ... due to its technical characteristics and rigorous certification mechanisms, allows Venezuela to count on an electoral system armored against fraud and error," CNE chair Tibisay Lucena said.

Nicolas Maduro, who became Venezuela's acting president when Chavez died, defeated opposition candidate Capriles by 50.78 percent to 48.95 percent, according to the official results.

Maduro, Chavez's choice to succeed him as leader of his "Bolivarian revolution," was sworn-in as president five days after the vote.

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.

The CNE agreed to review the remaining 46 percent of the vote, a decision that Capriles originally welcomed before deciding to boycott the recount because election officials would not turn over to him the precinct registers with voters' signatures.

After rejecting the recount process, Capriles asked the Venezuelan Supreme Court to throw out the election and order a fresh ballot.

The court has yet to rule on the opposition motion.

The 50-year-old Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, garnered only 265,000 more votes than Capriles in April.

Chavez, who died March 5 after a long battle with cancer, defeated Capriles 55.5 percent to 44.39 percent in the Oct. 7 presidential election, a difference of 1.6 million votes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130611/recount-found-no-discrepancies-venezuelan-election-officials-say