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Maduro Declared Winner In Venezuela


The Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is to be formally declared winner of the presidential poll on April 15, despite opposition demands for a complete recount.

Chavez died last month after a long battle with cancer.

Maduro beat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles by about 300,000 votes in the election, which was held on April 14.

The margin of victory was 50.7 percent to 49.1 percent.

State media called on Venezuelans to attend a ceremony and rally to be held in the capital Caracas.

Capriles has refused to accept the result, saying there were thousands of irregularities during polling.

He has since called for peaceful protests if Maduro is declared the winner of the election.

The White House said on April 15 that an audit of the results would be an "important, prudent and necessary step."

On the same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Maduro for his victory.

Maduro campaigned on a promise to continue what Chavez called "21st-century socialism," with much government spending on the poor and state control over the economy.

Capriles claimed the late president's regime has put Venezuela on the road to ruin.

Chavez died last month after a long battle with cancer.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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