(Repeats with no changes to story)
* Opposition leader cancels march in Caracas
* Government blames him for post-election violence
* Maduro due to be sworn in on Friday
By Daniel Wallis and Enrique Andres Pretel
CARACAS, April 17 Venezuelan opposition leader
Henrique Capriles distanced himself from post-election street
violence after seven fatalities threatened to turn the South
American OPEC nation's vote dispute into a full-blown crisis.
Capriles had planned to lead a march on the National
Electoral Council (CNE) on Wednesday to demand a recount after
official results gave a narrow win to Nicolas Maduro, the chosen
successor of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
But the opposition leader canceled the rally on Tuesday,
saying the government had plotted to "infiltrate" it, start
trouble and blame it on him.
"To all my followers ... this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever
is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with
me," Capriles told reporters. "It is doing me harm."
The government earlier said seven people were killed on
Monday and accused Capriles' supporters of attacking ruling
Socialist Party offices and people celebrating Maduro's victory.
Maduro earlier accused the opposition of trying to trigger a
coup d'etat and said he would not allow the planned march to go
ahead. His government is threatening legal action against
About 135 people were arrested and more than 60 hurt during
Monday's violent clashes, including one woman whom a mob tried
to burn alive, officials said.
In one well-off Caracas neighborhood, police fired teargas
and rubber bullets to disperse masked youths who chanted "fraud"
as they blocked streets, burnt tires and threw stones.
Protests were much quieter on Tuesday with thousands of
Capriles' followers holding peaceful rallies outside CNE offices
around the country.
Capriles says the government is responsible for the violence
because it denied his camp's demands for a full recount.
Maduro won with 50.8 percent of the vote against Capriles'
49.0 percent, according to the electoral authority. He is due to
be formally sworn in on Friday.
A continuation of violent protests could hurt the
opposition's democratic standing, despite having achieved its
best showing in a presidential poll since the Chavez era began,
and just as Capriles has consolidated himself as its leader.
The government has forcefully denounced the violence as part
of a "fascist" plan to destabilize the country and set the stage
for a re-run of a brief 2002 coup against Chavez.
Maduro held a meeting on Tuesday with senior executives of
state oil company PDVSA, who stood up to chant "They won't
return!", referring to politicians who ruled before Chavez won
power in 1998 and launched his self-styled socialist revolution.
Maduro campaigned for election on a promise to continue his
late boss's hardline socialist policies. He had a big lead in
polls but that evaporated in the final days and the result was
much closer than his team had expected.
Capriles says he is sure he won the election and that his
team has evidence of 3,200 irregularities, from voters using
fake IDs to intimidation of volunteers at polling centers.
Opposition sources say their count showed Capriles received
an extra 300,000 to 400,000 votes that did not appear in the
The CNE has refused to hold a recount, saying an audit of
ballots from 54 percent of the polling centers, in a widely
respected electronic voting system, had already been done.
Maduro initially said he was open to a recount but has
changed his position. He has called on his supporters to
demonstrate all week, culminating in a big rally in Caracas on
Friday to coincide with his inauguration ceremony.
He jumped on Capriles' cancellation of Wednesday's march,
saying the opposition leader had started to "backpedal."
"But no matter how much they retreat, they'll have to face
justice sooner rather than later," Maduro said before turning on
Capriles. "You are responsible for this. Don't disguise yourself
as a pacifist."
In a session of Congress on Tuesday, 'Chavista' legislators
accusing Capriles of inciting bloodshed and called for him to
face a formal investigation and charges. Two opposition
lawmakers said they were insulted and punched by pro-government
Maduro's slight margin of victory has raised doubts about
whether the disparate alliance that formed around Chavez during
his 14 years in power can hold together without him.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis and Enrique Andres Pretel; Editing
by Andrew Cawthorne and Lisa Shumaker)