Venezuela's Henrique Capriles to challenge vote in court

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles speaks at a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday Henrique Capriles told a news conference he would not accept a "joke audit" of the election results

Related Stories

Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has vowed to challenge President Nicolas Maduro's narrow victory in the 14 April presidential poll in the Supreme Court.

Mr Capriles announced on Thursday his movement would pull out of an audit of the vote, which he agreed on last week.

He said the proposed conditions for the audit were unfair, calling the process a "joke".

The opposition leader claims votes were "stolen" by Mr Maduro's government.

Mr Capriles said his movement would boycott the audit because the electoral authorities had not accepted his demand for voter signatures and fingerprints to be examined.

The electoral council failed to meet his "deadline" of 25 April to issue details of the audit.

"If we don't have access to those notebooks, we're not going to take part in an audit that would be a joke on Venezuelans and a joke on the world," Mr Capriles told pro-opposition TV channel Globovision.

Mr Capriles says he will ask the Supreme Court to annul the election and allow Venezuelans to go back to the polls.

Mr Maduro won the 14 April election by less than two percentage points.

He was sworn in as president last week, succeeding his mentor Hugo Chavez, who died in March of cancer.

Nine people died in post-election protests and both the government and opposition are planning more protests on 1 May.

'Get serious'

Mr Capriles says the vote was marred by thousands of irregularities, including voter intimidation, and has demanded a full recount.

The national electoral council (CNE) offered an electronic audit of the vote last week, to begin this week, but says Mr Maduro's victory remains "irreversible".

A supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a picture of late President Hugo Chavez during Mr Maduro's inauguration in Caracas, Venezuela, on 19 April 2013 Polls results showed a country equally split between the "Chavista" government and opposition

"We will not accept a joke audit... It's time to get serious," Mr Capriles said at a news conference.

He repeated his accusations that Mr Maduro had manipulated poll results: "The truth - and it is as big as our country is wide - is that you stole the election. That is the truth. You stole this electoral process, and you have to explain that to this country and to the world."

The government, meanwhile, accuses the opposition of stirring up the post-election violence in a bid to engender a coup, and the government-controlled National Assembly has now announced a commission to investigate whether Mr Capriles was responsible.

Pedro Carreno, who will head the commission, dubbed Mr Capriles a "murderer" as he announced its formation - joining the National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello, who has called him a "fascist murderer".

Prisons Minister Iris Varela, meanwhile, has said a jail cell awaits Mr Capriles.

Media coverage of the post-election violence has been at odds, with state media describing pro-opposition mobs torching health clinics but opposition media saying many reports of the violence were fabricated.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.