Chavez Heir Barely Wins; Opposition Rejects Count

 

 

” Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, won a razor-thin victory in Sunday’s special presidential election but the opposition candidate refused to accept the result and demanded a full recount.

Maduro’s stunningly close victory followed an often ugly, mudslinging campaign in which the winner promised to carry on Chavez’s self-styled socialist revolution, while challenger Henrique Capriles’ main message was that Chavez put this country with the world’s largest oil reserves on the road to ruin.

Despite the ill feelings, both men sent their supporters home and urged them to refrain from violence.

Maduro, acting president since Chavez’s March 5 death, held a double-digit advantage in opinion polls just two weeks ago, but electoral officials said he got just 50.7 percent of the votes to 49.1 percent for Capriles with nearly all ballots counted.

The margin was about 234,935 votes. Turnout was 78 percent, down from just over 80 percent in the October election that Chavez won by a nearly 11-point margin over Capriles.”