On the eve of Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro's inauguration Friday, the election authority announced it would conduct an audit of the electronic votes not reviewed since the election.
"It will be carried out in the presence of technicians with a capacity of an average of 400 boxes audited per day. This process will begin next week," said Tibisay Lucena, President, National Electoral Council. "The electoral body took this decision in order to contribute to and maintain an atmosphere of harmony among Venezuelans."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds official certificate declaring him winner of presidential election, Electoral Council, Caracas, April 15, 2013.
With nearly half of the votes unchecked, the electoral council declared Maduro the winner with more than 50 percent of the votes, compared to 49 percent for Henrique Capriles.
The opposition candidate says the audit will show voter irregularities in last Sunday's election.
"We know where the problems are; the problems are in those 12,000 [ballot] boxes. There we can perfectly show the country the truth," Capriles asserted. "Simon Bolivar's command accepts what the National Electoral Council has announced to the country on radio and television. "
Capriles' team has maintained he won the election by more than 300,000 votes. The controversial outcome set off protests in Caracas earlier this week.
Authorities say at least seven people were killed and more than 60 others injured in widespread protests following Maduro's narrow victory in Sunday's presidential election.
Maduro is set to take the oath office Friday, succeeding his mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, who died last month after a two-year battle with cancer.