CARACAS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro Tuesday pledged to fight fascism with a "firm hand, " saying he will not allow the opposition to spread violence in Caracas through a proposed protest rally Wednesday. He also accused right-wing presidential runner up Henrique Capriles and the groups that back him of being responsible for violent post-election clashes Tuesday that left at least seven people dead.
The president-elect said
Maduro said the opposition's protest plan
Venezuela's Attorney General Luisa Ortega said Tuesday that post-electoral protests demanding a vote-by-vote recount have so far left seven dead and 61 injured. At least 135 Venezuelans have been arrested for violent attacks, she said, adding they will be tried in court. Maduro has blamed "fascist mobs" for the violence, accusing the opposition of fermenting a coup. He also said that he would not allow the opposition to go ahead with a planned protest march on Wednesday through the streets of Caracas.
Venezuela held special presidential elections Sunday after former President Hugo Chavez died of cancer on March 5.
Protests erupted in parts of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities on Monday after Acting President Nicolas Maduro was declared winner of the election. As Maduro only held a narrow lead, the opposition rejected the results and demanded a vote recount. According to official figures, Maduro obtained 50.75 percent of the votes, while Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate, garnered 48.97 percent.
Capriles, the opposition candidate of the right-wing coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), has contested the results. Monday night during Maduro's proclamation event, election chief Tibisay Lucena rejected Capriles' accusations of electoral fraud, and urged him to register his complaint through the courts.