AFP – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on all political parties to accept the result of Sunday’s presidential election, saying the outcome “won’t be the end of the world for anybody.”
Chavez, 58, held a news conference after talks with the head of a South American delegation of election experts, Carlos Alvarez, who called on all sides to accept the results published by the National Electoral Council.
“I call on all political actors from the left, right and center for us to prepare emotionally to accept tomorrow’s result. It won’t be the end of the world for anybody,” Chavez said. “There are those who despair.”
The leftist-populist leader is facing the most formidable opponent in almost 14 years in power, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, 40, who has surged in opinion polls but trailed by 10 points in the latest survey. Still, undecided voters, which some polls put at more than 10 percent, could hold the key to the race.
“I am sure everything will take place peacefully, and that the main political actors will recognize” the official results, Chavez said.
Chavez has repeatedly accused the “far right” of plotting to not recognize the result if he wins.
Alvarez, a former Argentine vice president, said he was “optimistic” that all political leaders would accept the result because everybody agrees that the electronic voting system is transparent and credible.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) sent a delegation to attend the election but it is not a full-blown observer mission.
Chavez, a staunch US critic in office more than 14 years, has rejected observers from the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS). He was furious the OAS recognized his non-elected would-be “replacement” in the middle of a failed 48-hour coup against him back in 2002.