HAVANA TIMES — In an interview published today by the Spanish periodical El Mundo, Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles expressed his conviction that, following the audit of the recently-concluded electoral process, the country would have no choice but to “hold new elections,” reported dpa news.
“If not full elections, then partial ones. Any partial election would encompass such large number of voters that we could not only reduce the gap, but also come out victorious,” stated Capriles, claiming “a number of irregularities” had already been reported following the audit of 54 percent of the votes conducted thus far.
He pointed out that these alleged irregularities have to do with “differences between the voting and inspection records, acts of violence at polling places, assisted voting, campaigning near ballot boxes, people who voted two or three times.”
“Now we’re starting to audit the remaining 46 percent of the votes. Though there are 18 thousand ballot boxes still to be inspected, they’re going to look at 12 thousand, and I agreed to this. But they’re going to do more than just open the ballet boxes. They’re going to look at the ballots, the inspection records and the voting registries, which are the heart of the matter,” he added.
On Saturday, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) reported that the revision undertaken at the request of the opposition would not nullify the election of Nicolás Maduro, who was sworn in as president on Friday.
In this connection, Capriles stated that the CNE wants to limit the audit to “a simple confirmation of the voting results”, but that, after the audit has been completed, “the results will have to be presented to the country and the world.” “As of that moment, the government’s legitimacy may be put into question,” he affirmed.
“A charge of illegitimacy leads to a gigantic governability problem, that’s what proving the illegality of these elections will lead to. This is a “provisional” government, which will be in place until people know the truth,” he stressed.
“Maduro was sworn in, but the shadow of illegality lingers. If I were him, I would approach the CNE and ask for the audit myself, so that no-one can put my victory in question.” He further said that “there isn’t a single Venezuelan who has any positive expectation” about the presidency of Hugo Chávez’ heir.
Capriles requested an audit of the presidential elections on April 14, when Maduro, who secured 50.78 percent (or 7,575,704) of the votes, narrowly defeated him, with 48.95 percent (or 7,302,648) of the votes.
With respect to the posture assumed by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which demanded respect for Venezuela’s election results on Friday, Capriles commented that “no country or Head of State is being asked to question the legitimacy” of the new government, but that he requests the opportunity to present all of the “irregularities” detected.
Following the elections, massive protests across Venezuela left eight dead and sixty injured. Morales’ government blames Capriles for these acts of violence.
The opposition leader replied that the alleged acts of violence are “a fabrication” and that those killed were “not the victims of political violence, but of the common, everyday violence” Venezuelans must live with.
He stressed: “that has to do with the government’s agenda”, to “say nothing of the audit, the shadiness of the elections, the social and economic problems,” accusing the Chavista government of persecuting “public officials” in reprisals for the election results, something “typical of fascist regimes.”