President-elect Nicolas Maduro was set to be inaugurated in Venezuela Friday as election officials moved to defuse a political crisis by yielding to demands for an audit of the electronic votes of the results in Sunday's bitterly contested elections.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, CNE said on Thursday it would audit votes cast in weekend presidential elections after an opposition challenge to the victory accorded to President-elect Nicolas Maduro.
“We’re optimistic about Sunday’s election and the future of Paraguay if we can agree on long term state policies, but something is for certain: democracy in Paraguay is here to stay” said Ricardo Caballero Aquino, Chargé d’affaires of the Paraguayan embassy in Montevideo who was also positive about future relations with Unasur and Mercosur.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández will travel to Lima for a UNASUR meeting on Thursday in which regional countries are expected to express their support for the elections results in Venezuela and President elect Nicolas Maduro.
The United States held back recognition of President-elect Nicolas Maduro and called on the Venezuelan government on Wednesday to respect the right of free assembly after violence at opposition protests over a disputed election.
A manual recount of votes isn't possible in Venezuela, the head of the country's Supreme Court said Wednesday, suggesting there is no legal basis for the opposition's push for a ballot-by-ballot audit of the narrow presidential election results.
Representatives from several Latinamerican and Caribbean countries before the Organization of American States recognized on Wednesday Nicolas Maduro as elected president of Venezuela. Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Uruguay among others congratulated the new head of state and praised the Venezuelan people for their massive and peaceful turnout last Sunday for the historic voting day.
By R. Viswanathan (*) - The election of Nicolas Maduro, the chosen heir of Chavez, in last Sunday’s election, is good news for the peaceful and orderly transition of Venezuela after the abnormal, autocratic and quixotic rule of Chavez in the last fourteen years. If Capriles had won, the change would have been abrupt and traumatic for the Chavistas who might not have given up power so easily without some messy fight.
Argentina and Uruguay presidents could hold an unofficial meeting next Friday in Caracas when they attend the taking office ceremony of Venezuelan president next Friday, according to Montevideo diplomatic sources.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez demanded the United States “recognizes the Venezuelan government” following on Sunday’s election in which Nicolas Maduro was confirmed as president despite a very tight margin (just over 1% of ballots) and challenges by the opposition candidate.