Venezuela to audit remaining electronic votes

National election body says it will audit 46 percent of machines that were not checked immediately after Sunday's vote.

    Venezuela's electoral council has said it will audit the voting machines that were not audited on election night in an apparent rejection of the opposition's demand for a full vote-by-vote recount.

    Tibisay Lucena, the National Electoral Council (CNE) president, said on Thursday night that it would audit the 46 percent of the machines that were not audited immediately after Sunday's vote.

    Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has presented a series of allegations of vote fraud and other irregularities to back up  is demand for a vote-by-vote recount for the presidential election.

    "We do this [expand the audit] in order to preserve a climate of harmony ... and isolate violent sectors that are seeking to injure democracy,"  Lucena said in a televised speech.

    Venezuela's opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Thursday he accepted the election authority's decision to audit the rest of the electronic votes, and said he believed his team would be vindicated.

    "We can show the country the truth ... with this, we're where we want to be," Capriles told reporters after the CNE announcement.

    Ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, was declared the winner by 262,000 votes out of 14.9 million cast.


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