Maduro victory will stand despite audit: Election official

CARACAS (AFP) - An audit of election returns cannot overturn Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduros's win, a top election official said Saturday, warning the opposition against creating "false expectations."

"The results were given. They were given on April 14. They are public. You can verify them on the official website of the National Electoral Council," said Ms Sandra Oblitas, the council's vice-president.

Flanked by the panel's other members, she said that any challenge to the results of the elections must be decided by the Supreme Court.

"It is not the audit that is going to produce a different result," she said. Ms Oblitas urged the opposition "not to create false expectations over what is a technical audit that has been done before and that in no way overturns electoral results."

The council announced Thursday that it would conduct an expanded audit of the vote in response to opposition calls for a recount, which opposition candidate Henrique Capriles accepted.

Mr Capriles said Saturday that his campaign was preparing for a long fight but expected "the truth to impose itself."

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