Venezuela’s President-elect Nicolas Maduro has agreed to a full audit of the votes cast as the opposition continues to contest the country’s closest election in 45 years. Mr Maduro’s campaign chief, Jorge Rodriguez, made the announcement after opposition leader Henrique Capriles called off a march on Wednesday to protest against the results of Sunday’s presidential election. Mr Capriles, who requested a manual recount of the 15 million votes, acted after Mr Maduro said he would come down with a ”firm hand” on opposition supporters and violence led to eight deaths.
“That there be new technical audits, we agree 100 per cent with that,” Mr Rodriguez said, without providing more information.
The US supported a recount and had no plans to send an envoy to the inauguration, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a congressional hearing on Wednesday.
“We think there ought to be a recount,” Mr Kerry said, noting if “there are huge irregularities, we’re going to have serious questions about the viability of that government. But that evaluation has to be made, and I haven’t made it yet.”
Mr Maduro responded by warning against US interference. “Take your eyes off Venezuela, John Kerry,” he said. “Get out of here. Enough with intervention.”
Full Article: Maduro relents, offers full election audit.