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Old April 15th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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Went
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15th April.- After five hours counting votes the Venzuelan Board of Elections has officially called yesterday's elections for the acting President and leader of the Unified Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV), Nicolás Maduro.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Maduro got 7.505.338 (50.66%) votes for the 7.270.403 (49.08%) obtained by opposition leader Henrique Capriles. In comparison to the previous elections, held last September, the PSUV lost nearly 700.000 votes now that charismatic 3-termer Hugo Chávez wasn't leading the ticket anymore. Meanwhile, Capriles improved his results by the similar amount of 670.000 votes, marking the best result ever for an opposition leader in the country.

Maduro, who was endorsed by a terminally ill Chávez himself before travelling to Cuba to undergo a treatment he didn't recover from, accepted the results and thanked his people, reports the Associated Press. Capriles, meanwhile, asked for a recount and announced he would not recognize Maduro as a legitimate president until "every single vote was counted", according to the Spanish newspaper El País.

The US Department of State spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, has also supported the petition, which would give the process "democratic guarantees".

Maduro is expected to be formally declared winner today, regardless of the recount.
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