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Venezuela's election body audits all electronic votes

Former bus driver Nicolas Maduro celebrated victory from Sunday's poll. Credit: Reuters

Venezuela's electoral authority is to carry out a full audit of electronic votes cast in the country's presidential election.

The announcement, reported by Reuters, comes hours before Nicolas Maduro was due to be sworn in as Hugo Chavez's successor after a narrow victory on Sunday.

The US had already called for a recount of the closely fought poll.

Mr Maduro was declared the winner by the country's National Electoral Council by 262,000 votes from 14.9 million cast by Venezuelans.


Fireworks in Venezuela as Madura calls for calm

Fireworks in Caracas as Venezuela elects Madura Credit: Reuters

Fireworks have been let off in Caracas as Venezuela elected Nicolas Maduro as president - opposition backers banged pots and pans in reaction to the vote result.

Venezuela's ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro called for peace and said he would be willing for Sunday's election result to be audited after officials said he took 50.76 percent of votes, compared to 49.07 percent for his rival Henrique Capriles.

"We don't want violence, we want peace," Maduro said in a speech to the nation.

"They [the opposition] want an audit, we welcome the audit ... I formally request the National Electoral Commission to carry out an audit."

Maduro wins Venezuela election with 51% of votes

Ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela's presidential election on Sunday with 51 per cent of votes, the electoral authority said, allowing him to carry forward the socialist policies of the late Hugo Chavez.

Maduro's young challenger, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, took 49 percent of the ballots, the authority said, in a tighter-than-expected vote.


Fears over Venezuela's Presidential election result

Both sides in an election to choose a successor to Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chavez expressed confidence of victory after Sunday's vote, raising fears that the official result could be contested.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro led all polls before the vote, buoyed by Chavez's blessing before he died from cancer last month and vowing to continue the former president's self-styled socialist revolution.

But Maduro's rival, state governor Henrique Capriles, appeared to close the gap in the last days of the short campaign.

Venezuela's opposition complains of illegal voting

Following opposition complaints that some people were illegally helping elderly voters cast their ballots, Henrique Capriles urged his followers to report any violations of election laws.

But he also stressed he would respect the outcome of the vote, whatever it might be.

Venezuelan opposition leader and presidential candidate Henrique Capriles holds up his ink-stained finger after casting his ballot. Credit: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

"Today, all Venezuelans are reporters. If you see something irregular, take a picture, air it on social media," Capriles said after voting.

"But let there be no doubt, we will respect the will of the people."

Electoral authorities said voting was going smoothly and that there was no evidence of irregularities.

Given the deep mutual mistrust on both sides, some worry that a close or contested result could spark unrest.

Some 170 international observers were on hand, many from left-leaning political parties across Latin America.

Polls were due to close on Sunday, but voting continued past that in some places to accommodate queues.

Venezuela votes on successor to Hugo Chavez

The people of Venezuelan voted on whether to honour Hugo Chavez's dying wish for a long time loyalist to continue his self-styled socialist revolution or hand power to a young challenger promising business-friendly changes.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro led opposition rival Henrique Capriles in most polls heading into the vote, buoyed by Chavez's public blessing before he died from cancer last month.

cting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores visit the tomb of late President Hugo Chavez Credit: REUTERS/Francisco Batista/Miraflores Palace/Handout (V

Maduro supporters mobilised voters with pre-dawn bugle calls in the rough barrios of Caracas, where Chavez is revered as a hero of the poor.

"We're going to elect Maduro president because he's following the path set by Chavez," Morelia Roa, a 58-year-old nurse, said after casting her ballot in the same working class Caracas district where Maduro voted.

Lines formed under blistering sunshine at some voting centers, but many were shorter than they were at last October's election, when an ailing Chavez beat Capriles. Then, a record 80 percent of registered voters cast ballots following an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign by the Chavista camp.

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