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Venezuela's acting president defends electoral system

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-15 07:11

CARACAS - Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro defended the country's electoral system by saying that the system was "perfect" after he voted Sunday afternoon in presidential elections at Miguel Antonio Caro Bolivarian High School in western Caracas.

"You cannot attack a perfect electoral system to justify yourself. You have to have standings," he accused the opposition candidate.

Maduro, the official candidate nominated after the death of late president Hugo Chavez on March 5, said in a statement that the participation record "is being broken" and affirmed that at 14: 40 local time (1910 GMT), some 11.5 million Venezuelans have voted.

He rejected the accusations of Henrique Capriles, presidential candidate of the opposition coalition, about his campaign team chief declaring on the massive voting on Sunday morning. He defended the numbers and said he respected the work of the National Electoral Council (CNE) .

Meanwhile, Capriles, at a press conference after he cast vote, also said that he rejected the statements of Jorge Rodriguez, Chief of Maduro's campaign team, who said that at 11:00 local time some 8 million Venezuelans have already voted.

Capriles said "The campaign team's chief of the other party gave information on the number of voters to try to disturb the process, because we all know what is happening. We all know the way in which our force is deployed. The force of the others is deployed early, while ours is currently developing."

Venezuela's ongoing presidential election has been calm and peaceful, Defense Minister Diego Molero Bellavia said Sunday, adding "I can tell the Venezuelan people that I have toured Caracas, and that everything is very quiet and calm."

Venezuelans went to the polls early in the day to elect a new president to succeed Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month.

The polling stations opened at 6 am local time (1030 GMT) and will close at 6 pm (2230 GMT). The final results are expected later Sunday night.

There are about 18.9 million registered voters out of a total population of 28.8 million of the country.

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