Venezuelan Opposition Calls for Protests to Push Vote Recount

Venezuela’s opposition is urging supporters to bang pots and pans tonight in the first wave of protests against alleged voting irregularities that it says robbed Henrique Capriles Radonski of the presidency yesterday.

The opposition has asked the national electoral council to block government plans to hold a presidential proclamation ceremony this afternoon for Nicolas Maduro, Capriles told reporters today in Caracas. The council yesterday declared Maduro the winner of the April 14 election with 50.8 percent of the vote.

Donning his trademark baseball cap that bears the colors of the Venezuelan flag, Capriles urged supporters to stage peaceful demonstrations nationwide to pressure election officials to recount votes. While one member of the five-person electoral council has said a recount will take place, the organization has yet to make an official announcement. Capriles said he would lead a procession to the council’s offices on April 17 if demands aren’t met.

“I’ll grab a saucepan so I can hit it hard at eight o’clock tonight so the voice of the people that expressed itself yesterday can be heard,” said Capriles, 40. “Let it be heard throughout the world.”

This afternoon’s proclamation will make Maduro an illegitimate president, said Capriles, who according to the election council took 49 percent of the vote yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Charlie Devereux in Caracas at Cdevereux3@bloomberg.net; Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net.

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