Home World Americas News Fistfights in Venezuela’s parliament over disputed presidential election

Fistfights in Venezuela’s parliament over disputed presidential election

Several opposition MP’s are reportedly being injured during a brawl that have broken out in Venezuela’s parliament over the recent disputed presidential election.

Several legislators were left bloodied and bruised, with both opposition and pro-government lawmakers accusing each other of starting the fight.

A measure was earlier passed denying MPs the right to speak until they recognized Nicolas Maduro as president.

Official results show he narrowly beat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski, who has demanded a full recount.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) – which has rejected Henrique Capriles’ demand – on Monday said Nicolas Maduro had won by 1.49 percentage points, or fewer than 225,000 votes.

This came after the council had amended the final result, taking into account votes cast abroad.

In all, 99.79% of the votes have now been counted.

Earlier figures had shown a 1.8 percentage victory for Nicolas Maduro, who stood in the poll as the chosen successor of the late President Hugo Chavez.

On Tuesday, the opposition said a number of its lawmakers were attacked and hurt in the parliament – the National Assembly.

One of the MPs, Julio Borges, later appeared on a local TV station with facial bruises.

Opposition deputy Julio Borges appeared on a local TV station with facial bruises after Venezuela’s parliament brawl

Opposition deputy Julio Borges appeared on a local TV station with facial bruises after Venezuela’s parliament brawl

“They can beat us, jail us, kill us, but we will not sell out our principles,” Julio Borges was quoted as saying.

“These blows give us more strength.”

The opposition said it was being “silenced” by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.

“I am going to ask you: Mr. Deputy, do you recognize Nicolas Maduro?” Diosdado Cabello asked one of them. “If you say no, you don’t get to speak in the assembly.”

Pro-government representatives blamed the opposition for starting the clashes.

“Today again I had to defend [Hugo Chavez’s] legacy,” lawmaker Odalis Monzon was quoted as saying by Reuters.

She added that she and several of her colleagues were attacked and beaten during the fighting.

The CNE declared President Nicolas Maduro the winner on April 15, after he had gained what it called an “irreversible majority”. He was sworn in as Venezuela’s president on April 19.

Henrique Capriles has demanded a vote-by-vote recount, but the CNE said it would be legally impossible to carry out.

It has, however, agreed to carry out a partial audit, which is expected to take until June. During the audit, 56% of the votes cast will be examined.

The CNE says the remaining 44% had been checked immediately after the election.

On Monday, Henrique Capriles said Nicolas Maduro had “illegitimately stolen the presidency”,

He has until May 6 to lodge his request with the Supreme Court contesting the election result.

Henrique Capriles said he had “no doubt that this will end up before an international body”.

Both Henrique Capriles and Nicolas Maduro have urged their supporters to turn out for separate demonstrations on May 1st, sparking fears the two camps could clash.

Nicolas Maduro on Monday said he had changed the route of his march because he “did not want problems”.

But the opposition says it continues to be targeted by the government, citing the arrest on Saturday of retired General Antonio Rivero as proof.

The opposition politician has been charged with criminal instigation and criminal association, after prosecutors blamed him for outbreaks of post-election violence.

Relatives of General Antonio Rivero say he is on a hunger strike in protest.

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