Capriles said his camp was continuing to collect thousands of additional alleged irregularities to present to the CNE. For example, he said, opposition witnesses were forced to leave 283 voting centers, some at gunpoint. At 564 centers, he said, government backers were accompanying voters to the booth.
The United Sates, meanwhile, said it is not yet ready to recognize Maduro as the winner and called Tuesday for a full recount of the votes. Maduro responded in a new round of criticism aimed at Washington, saying the U.S. Embassy was behind most of the unrest.
Reinaldo Corales, the president of the union of CNE workers, told local media that colleagues had been harassed and threatened. He asked the nation not to take its frustration out on civil servants.
“That’s not the responsibility of the CNE or its workers,” he said. “We just add up the votes and that’s how it came out.”
The opposition has 20 days to make its case for a recount, but the administration isn’t waiting. On Monday, Maduro, 50, was declared the official winner and on Friday will be sworn in during a ceremony before the National Assembly. He has invited supporters to a mass rally in Caracas to celebrate.
Capriles called on supporters to bang pots Tuesday night and during Friday’s inauguration to protest the election results.
Maduro’s narrow lead shocked his supporters. He had been running far ahead in many polls on the wave of sympathy generated by March 5 death of Hugo Chávez.
Maduro said he will work to build a new majority but says there’s no reason to make “pacts” with the opposition. While his electoral majority was thin, he will enjoy a majority in the legislature and 20 out 23 governors are government allies.
As reports emerged late Monday that offices of the ruling PSUV party were attacked in three states, Anzoátegui, Barinas and Táchira states, Maduro said Capriles was personally to blame.
“Is this the Venezuela you want, losing candidate?” Maduro said. “You are responsible for this fire because you’re the one who called for violence on the street.”