Everyone expected Hugo Chávez’s handpicked heir, Nicolás Maduro, to win Venezuela’s presidential election by a landslide. Instead he eked out a narrow victory: 50.7 percent to 49.1 percent for the opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. That’s just 235,000 ballots, and Capriles is refusing to recognize the result, citing a list of 3,000 irregularities, including gunshots and poll centers that were illegally reopened. “I didn’t fight against a candidate today, but against the whole abuse of power,” said Capriles. Maduro said he would accept a recount. Regardless of the outcome, the narrow victory shows that Maduro could face challenges from within his leftist coalition.
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