Maracaibo, April 25th, 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Opposition leader Henrique Capriles claimed yesterday that the presidential elections were “stolen”, and demanded further audit measures that the Venezuelan government has said are “impossible”.
Capriles made the statements during a press conference on Wednesday in which he gave the government an ultimatum regarding the audit.
“The truth is that you stole the elections, that’s the truth. You stole the elections and now you have to explain that to the country and the world,” he said.
Capriles demanded that the National Electoral Council (CNE) begin the auditing process immediately, and said his campaign will refuse to wait any longer.
“That is what we are demanding. We will give you until tomorrow,” he said, though he did not say what would happen if the CNE did not respond.
However, the CNE had already said last week that it would announce the beginning of the audit this week, and was expected to make an announcement today.
The Capriles campaign went on to demand a series of additional audit measures that are not included in the audit that has been approved by the CNE. His campaign representative Roberto Picón said that in addition to a complete audit of the electoral machines and the paper ballots, they are also demanding access to the electoral registry, the fingerprint system and a verification of each individual voter.
“We are asking for complete access to the electoral registry, not only to count how many people voted but also to audit all of the details, to audit the people that voted to see if there are dead people who voted, or foreigners, or duplicates, and to see if there are fake fingerprints,” said Picón.
He further said that they are demanding the CNE validate every individual fingerprint in the system, comparing each fingerprint to every other to assure none are duplicated, validate every person’s signature on the day of the elections and that they provide proof that none of the electoral data has been altered since the elections last week.
“If it doesn’t include the electoral registry, then it is not an audit. We won’t accept a shoddy audit,” said Capriles.
Various government officials have responded to these demands, saying they would be impossible to meet, and that the Capriles campaign knows it.
“They are making requests to the CNE that are absolutely impossible to grant. They are asking that every fingerprint and every signature of the almost 15 million people who participated in the electoral process be verified,” said Calixo Ortega.
“This would take like 5 years to verify, because it takes hours to verify a single fingerprint or signature, and there are 15 million that would have to be verified,” he said.
“It appears that they are purposely making requests that cannot be granted so that they can later say that the CNE has denied their request,” he explained.
Maduro’s campaign manager Jorge Rodgriguez also responded to Capriles, accusing him of attempting to create more violence in the country.
“Now Capriles says the elections were stolen. Where is the proof? Where is a single piece of evidence of that? If you can’t show any evidence, then it didn’t happen,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also accused Capriles of attempting to generate more violence in the country.
“What are you doing giving the government an ultimatum like that? You have already left a cemetery in your wake with 9 fellow Venezuelans dead from the violence you created,” he said.
Capriles has yet to present any evidence of fraud in the April 14th elections. In the days following the elections, he mentioned various examples that were all promptly shown to be false.
Venezuela’s electoral council is expected to announce the timeframe of the auditing process today or tomorrow. It is unlikely that the additional measures being demanded by the Capriles campaign will be included in the audit.