After the tightest of presidential election outcomes hundreds of protesters have clashed with police in the Venezuelan capital.
Violence erupted after the losing candidate Henrique Capriles called for a recount.
Capriles lost Sunday’s poll to replace the late Hugo Chavez by less than two per cent and after claiming to have evidence of numerous voting irregularities he has refused to acknowledge Nicolas Maduro as the victor.
“If you’re going to rush like a coward to claim victory,” said Capriles of Maduro, “ you are an illegitimate president. And Venezuela and the world will denounce you.”
For his part Maduro who was hand picked by Chavez to continue his so-called socialist revolution has condemned Capriles and what he called his divisive stance.
President-elect Nicolas Maduro lashed out at his rival saying:
“It wasn’t an election campaign, it was a war, and they fed hatred to a large part of the sector that voted for them, who are now ready to kill.”
But despite his win being speedily confirmed by Venezuela’s electoral council the slim victory raises the possibility that the oil rich country could be in for a period of political instability.