Venezuela

Venezuela high court shoots down presidential election challenge

 

jwyss@MiamiHerald.com

Venezuela’s high court Wednesday shot-down legal challenges to the April 14 presidential election that gave Nicolás Maduro a narrow victory, saying the opposition had not provided compelling evidence that the results were flawed.

Opposition leaders, including Maduro’s rival in the race, Miranda Gov. Henrique Capriles, had taken their case to the Supreme Court even as they claimed they would not get a fair hearing from the body.

In its ruling, the court said the plaintiffs had “pointed out supposed irregularities in different election centers without identifying, precisely, how those events produced appreciable errors capable of changing the results.”

The news comes as the nation is gearing up for municipal elections in December to choose 2,792 officials including 335 mayors. As candidates from both factions have been registering this week, tensions are on the rise.

Early Wednesday, the opposition said authorities had detained Oscar López, a close Capriles’ ally and a state-government official.

Without specifically naming López, Maduro confirmed that security forces had detained “the chief of the dons of the right-wing mafia.”

He also denied that López was being “politically persecuted,” saying his detention comes after a lengthy investigation that uncovered serious financial crimes.

The coalition of opposition parties known as the MUD said the arrest was designed to distract the public from soaring inflation and rampant crime.

Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma called the arrest a government attempt to cow rivals.

“We are facing a regime that’s becoming more brutish and dangerous as it loses its legitimacy and popular support,” he said.

Venezuela has been in political turmoil since President Hugo Chávez’s died March 6 sparking snap elections. The National Electoral Council, or CNE, says Maduro — Chávez’s handpicked successor — won 51 percent of the vote versus Capriles’ 49 percent. The tight race triggered marches and protests that turned violent and claimed at least 11 lives.

Although the CNE finished auditing the vote in June — and stood by its results — the opposition has not been mollified. Critics, including Capriles, say the audit was an incomplete whitewash designed to obscure irregularities.

Wednesday’s long-delayed ruling wasn’t a surprise. Capriles and others have accused the justice system of being in Maduro’s pocket.

In Wednesday’s ruling, the court fined Capriles the equivalent of $1,700 for criticizing and disparaging the justices.

“They fine us for telling and defending the truth,” Capriles wrote on Twitter. “What’s inadmissible is the lack of justice in our country.”

Read more Venezuela stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2014 file photo, surrounded by mask-wearing supporters of Venezuela's opposition, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, center, speaks to the media in Doral, Fla. Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott called for sanctions against Venezuela, as opponents of President Nicolas Maduro were staging countrywide protests. Amid escalating tensions with Venezuela, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, announced sanctions against Venezuelan officials it said committed human rights abuses during the spring crackdown on anti-government protests.

    US imposes travel ban on some Venezuelan officials

    Amid escalating tensions with Venezuela, the U.S. State Department on Wednesday announced a travel ban for officials of the socialist government it said committed human rights abuses during a crackdown on opposition protests.

  • Venezuela's opposition coordinator resigns post

    The head of Venezuela's opposition alliance resigned Wednesday, delivering a blow to anti-government forces bitterly divided over how best to challenge socialist President Nicolas Maduro as frustrations rise with his handling of the struggling economy.

  •  
CORRECTS DATE TO 2014 Former Venezuelan general Hugo Carvajal arrives at the Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad, Aruba,  Sunday July 27, 2014 after being released by authorities. Carvajal was detained in Aruba on U.S. drug charges, released by the Dutch Caribbean island Sunday and sent home, authorities said Sunday.

    Official: Venezuela tried to pressure Aruba

    Aruba's top prosecutor said Tuesday that Venezuela ratcheted up various types of pressure against the Dutch Caribbean island and the Netherlands in recent days to try to win the release of a powerful former general wanted on U.S. drug-trafficking charges.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category