Capriles expects Venezuela vote ruling ‘within hours’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:34pm

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles, narrowly defeated at the polls, said Wednesday that the Supreme Court will decide “within hours” whether a new presidential vote should be held.

In an interview, Capriles warned that if the answer was no, he would bring his fight to “international bodies.”

“Within hours, we are going to have a decision on whether [the Supreme Court] accepts” the opposition’s bid to hold new elections, he said.

The Miranda state governor, who has not conceded the race which the National Electoral Board says Nicolas Maduro won by 1.49 points, said that if the high court takes on the legal case, it should last about three or four months.

But if it rejects the challenge, Capriles vowed to take his fight over the election’s fairness “to every body it can be heard in” including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“Now, the ball is in the government’s court. It is the one who has an illegitimacy crisis on its hands,” said Capriles, 40.

He called the government’s partial review of some results in the April 14 vote to replace the late Hugo Chavez, “a farse.”

“If they did a proper review, the election would be revoked. That’s why they don’t do it,” he said.

Socialist Maduro, 50, defeated opposition leader Capriles, at least officially, by a razor-thin margin in the election to replace the late leftist leader Chavez.

Maduro charged the United States with financially backing the Venezuelan opposition.

Chavez, the most prominent face of the Latin American left for over a decade, was Venezuela’s president for 14 years before his death in March.

Venezuela sits atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and Chavez had harnessed its wealth to support popular social programs and provide aid to fellow leftist leaders across the region.

Maduro, a former bus driver and union organiser, was a member of Chavez’s inner circle throughout the late leader’s reign, serving as his vice president and foreign minister.