Venezuelan Opposition Formally Requests Recount, Maduro Calls for “Street Parliaments”

Representatives of opposition leader Henrique Capriles’ campaign team this afternoon handed over documents to the National Electoral Council (CNE) to request a recount of 100% of the votes. 54% of the votes were audited on Monday, and no problems found.

Carlos Ocariz told Noticias24 they were requesting the revision of all electoral minutes, machines, voting books, and paper votes. He insisted on the need to count the votes individually, and that the opposition team had met with the CNE for 2.5 hours, and expects a decision by the CNE within the next few hours.

Capriles has not yet recognised Sunday’s election results and on Sunday called for protests against them, but until now had not formally requested a recount.

Last night in a national broadcast Maduro called for fireworks, “love, music, and happiness” to counter the opposition’s nightly 8pm cacerolazos (pan banging) to protest the “fraud”. He said the proposal was originally made by some PSUV branches, and he agreed with it.

He also called for constant street presence and mobilisations in the main plazas, saying he has  “promised a government of the streets”. He repeated his call for “peace” and for people to continue working.

He also announced today that the government will start a “street government” from Monday, with himself and members of the government visiting “the whole country” and receiving proposals from communities. During a meeting with pro-Chavez governors today he said the priority issues were heath, education, housing, popular power, and crime.

He also committed to recognise any result coming out of a full vote recount.

Further, Maduro warned today that, “we have information that the rightwing are arming groups wearing red t-shirts to simulate attacks. I’ve alerted all the security bodies”.

Maduro also ordered Venezuela’s national intelligence body, Sebin, to protect Capriles. According to Maduro, Capriles has denounced a supposed attack against his residence (the Miranda governor house), and blamed it on the national government.

PSUV national leader Ana Osorio also warned that “radical sectors of the ultra-right” have plans to plant snipers in opposition protests. She said she had received photographs of snipers planted in Maracay, Aragua, near the National Electoral Council building, from residents of the area.

In yesterday’s parliament session, the president of the parliament Diosdado Cabello asked each speaker if they “recognised Nicolas Maduro as president”, those who didn't respond affirmatively were denied the right to speak. The parliament also held one minutes silence for the eight people who were killed on Monday. One of those injured on Monday died today.

Cabello also said that the national assembly will open a criminal investigation into opposition leaders Capriles, Henri Falcon, Ismael Garcia, Leopoldo Lopez, Armando Briquet, and Carlos Oscariz, as well as CNE director Vicente Diaz.

Cabello blamed Capriles for the violence which followed his call to not recognise Sunday’s electoral results.

“[They] want to confront the people against the people… what does it matter to Capriles what happens here in Venezuela if he has just bought himself an apartment in New York?” Cabello said.

Pro-Chavez Miranda state legislators also urged Capriles to resume his role as governor of Miranda, as the permission he requested to temporarily leave the position expired on Sunday. Aurora Morales, president of the Miranda parliament said Capriles has 24 hours to resume his role, or the parliament will declare his position abandoned.  

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