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.
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles called off a march by his supporters in Caracas planned for Wednesday, saying that his rivals were plotting to infiltrate the rally to trigger violence. Violent clashes at opposition protests over Venezuela's disputed presidential election have killed seven people, officials said as both sides mobilized supporters nationwide for new demonstrations.
The president of the Venezuelan parliament and vice-president of the ruling Chavista party, Diosdado Cabello underlined the significance of Sunday’s presidential election and Nicolas Maduro’s victory, but also admitted that the results demand a strong ‘self criticism’.
Despite opposition protests demanding a ballot recount, congratulations are pouring in for Venezuela’s proclaimed President Nicolas Maduro: Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Unasur, although the OAS and the US have adopted a more cautious attitude.
Venezuela's election authority on Monday formally proclaimed Nicolas Maduro the winner of Sunday's presidential vote, despite insistence by the opposition that the ceremony be suspended until a complete recount of votes was carried out given the very tight result.
Denouncing election irregularities, Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski demanded a recount and said early Monday that he will not recognize the country's presidential results ”until every vote is counted”. His comments came less than an hour after officials said the man former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez handpicked to be his successor had won the country's presidential vote.
Following five hours of a long recount process Venezuela’s National Electoral Council announced early Monday morning that acting president Nicolas Maduro is the new head of state, having defeated Henrique Capriles by less than a two percentage point difference.
In his closing massive campaign rally in Caracas, Thursday evening incumbent candidate Nicolas Maduro pledged that next Sunday he will win the Venezuelan presidential election and later will take over the presidency of Mercosur.