Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) Monday began a partial recount of votes cast in the contested April 14 presidential elections, which saw Nicolas Maduro win by a razor-thin margin, local media reported. The auditing process, which is being boycotted by the opposition, calls for a technical board to inspect 12,000 ballot boxes in 30 days, as approved last Friday by Venezuela’s electoral authorities. In the next few days, auditors are to be selected and trained for the review of a random selection of 46 percent of ballot boxes that were not already audited on election day.
Maduro was declared winner of election with a total of 7,575, 704 votes, while opposition candidate Henrique Capriles obtained 7, 302,648 votes, a difference of 273,056 votes (1.82 percent).
Venezuela’s electoral system automatically audits a sampling of ballots, but Capriles called for a recount of 100 percent of all ballot boxes, claiming there were “irregularities that can affect the final outcome”.
While opponents of the ruling socialist party have been demanding a full recount, Capriles said they would boycott the audit, because it is “incomplete”.
“It is a fake audit, because it does not take into account the voting logbooks,” he said, “It’s like someone going to the supermarket, paying and leaving with nothing.”