Venezuela top court rejects challenge to Maduro win

Filed on May 26, 2013

In a ruling out Saturday, Venezuela’s Supreme Court rejected one of six challenges to the April 14 presidential election, which saw Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro win by a razor-thin margin.

Oficially, Maduro — the late president Chavez’s handpicked successor — won the controversial election by 1.49 percentage points. His rival, Henrique Capriles, has refused to concede.

The court that a lawsuit filed by Venezuelans living abroad that alleged fraud and government interference lacked details, was confusing, and contains ‘value judgments without the justification required under the law.’

The court must now answer legal challenges presented by the united opposition front that supported Capriles’s candidacy.

In their first case, the opposition calls for a full election do-over on constitutional grounds, claiming the election was marred by ‘bribery, violence and fraud.’

The second opposition case, based on election law, states that balloting must be held again at 5,700 voting sites because of irregularities. Those sites represent 2.3 million votes.

Maduro officially beat Capriles by 224,000 votes.

The remaining cases challenging the election results were filed by civic organizations.

The special election was held after Chavez, in power in Venezuela since 1999, died of cancer March 5. He had been re-elected in October to a new term in office that began on January 10.

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