Nicolas Maduro was proclaimed the winner of Venezuela’s disputed presidential election as the opposition called on supporters to press for a recount of the closest vote in 45 years.
The government dispatched anti-riot forces in Caracas today as Maduro, who received 50.8 percent of the vote, was declared the winner by the national electoral council. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said no recount of the 15 million votes cast would occur and that Maduro will be sworn in on April 19.
“I am the son of Chavez,” Maduro, 50, said today during his proclamation speech. “I am the first Chavista president after Hugo Chavez and I am going to fulfill in full his legacy to protect the humble, the poor, the fatherland.”
Henrique Capriles Radonski, who took 49 percent of the vote, said that the opposition has evidence of irregularities that affected hundreds of thousands of votes. The margin of victory was the narrowest since the 1968 presidential election and may lead to political unrest as almost half the country questions the government’s legitimacy, said Russell Dallon, a Miami-based bond trader at Caracas Capital Markets.