Venezuela election results to be reviewed

April 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM
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CARACAS, Venezuela, April 19 (UPI) -- Venezuela's presidential election results will be electronically audited with opposition monitors on hand, the nation's election regulators say.

National Electoral Agency head Tibisay Lucena said Thursday night the agency would conduct an audit starting some time next week after the Friday inauguration of President Nicolas Maduro, The Wall Street Journal reported. Maduro defeated candidate Henrique Capriles by 25,000 votes Sunday. Lucena said the electronic review of the balloting would not be the same as a recount, which the opposition had sought and "should not be interpreted as any sort of 'scrutiny.'"

Capriles said the audit, which would involve opening and counting ballots in 12,000 voting boxes, would be adequate.

"We accept this audit because we think the problem is in those 12,000 boxes," Capriles said in a televised speech. "With this, we're where we want to be. ... We can show the country the truth."

Capriles has said he would not recognize Maduro, who President Hugo Chavez designated as his preferred successor before he died of cancer, as the winner without a recount.

The Journal said Maduro had not issued a response to the audit announcement.

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