CARACAS / MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - Nicolas Maduro, the handpicked successor of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was declared winner of Sunday’s elections early on Tuesday Moscow time, as opposition supporters rallied in various parts of Caracas demanding a vote recount.
As thousands of Maduro’s supporters gathered outside the National Electoral Council headquarters, election chief Tibisay Lucena read out the official vote count and urged the country’s opposition “to respect the people’s choice.”
According to the latest official information, Maduro won by a tiny margin, gaining 50.75 percent of the vote, while his election rival Henrique Capriles received 48.97 percent.
Capriles refused to accept the results, saying the polls were plagued by numerous voting irregularities, and called for his supporters to rally in peaceful protest.
Meanwhile, Associated Press reported that National Guard troops have fired tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse an opposition protest in Caracas, while protestors reported by hurling stones back at them.