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Venezuelan Supreme Court bars any chance of a manual recount of votes

Wednesday, April 17th 2013 - 23:55 UTC
Full article 3 comments
“In Venezuela the electoral system is completed automated” said Chief Justice Luisa Estella Morales  “In Venezuela the electoral system is completed automated” said Chief Justice Luisa Estella Morales

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.

In nationally televised remarks, Venezuelan Chief Justice Luisa Estella Morales said Venezuela's 1999 constitution eliminated manual recounts in favor of a “system audit.”

“In Venezuela the electoral system is completely automated. Therefore, a manual count does not exist. Anyone who thought that could really happen has been deceived,” she said.

“The majority of those who are asking for a manual count know it and are clear about it. Elections are not audited ballot by ballot but through the system.”

Her comments came a day after the sounds of clanking pots and pans and bursting fireworks rang out in Caracas as tensions mounted over Venezuela's tight election results.

Supporters of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles banged pots and pans to protest the government's refusal to recount the votes, while supporters of President-elect Nicolas Maduro set off fireworks to celebrate his victory and drown out the noise.

Maduro, the late President Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, is scheduled to take office on Friday. Electioon authorities proclaimed his president-elect on Monday despite Capriles' demand for a recount.

Venezuela's state-run AVN news agency said at least eight people had been killed in post-election violence across the country. AVN also reported that authorities had arrested 135 people in connection with political violence.

The government news agency tied the deaths to opposition protests and said the victims were all followers of Maduro. Government health clinics, food distribution centers, a bank and a preschool program were the targets of violence, officials said.

Since the tally was announced, both Capriles and Maduro have publicly urged supporters to remain peaceful while also accusing each other of inciting violence.

 

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  • GeoffWard2

    No re-count possible .... this is the way in which a democratic system is designed, without checks and balances.

    “What I say must be true because I say so”
    “Let's check it”
    “Checking is impossible”
    “So the result is what you say it is because you say so”
    “Yes”.
    “Are you to be trusted?”
    “Of course, a little bird says so”

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 01:07 pm 0
  • Brazilian

    All international electoral watchdogs have clearly stated that Maduro's election is legitimate. The Supreme Court exists for a reason, or should it give over it's sovereignty to the Venezuelans in Miami and to US interests? South America isn't the US's backyard anymore, get used to it.

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 02:38 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    “All international electoral watchdogs have clearly stated that Maduro's election is legitimate.”
    Can you prove this?
    Does the US Watchdog agree? The Paraguayan? ...

    “The Supreme Court exists for a reason”
    I suppose the reason is to say “There can't be a recount.”

    Apr 18th, 2013 - 02:54 pm 0
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