“To be able to do anything with the country deeply divided and 49 percent of the population questioning if you even have a right to be president is going into it with your hands tied behind your back,” said Cynthia Arnson, who directs the Latin America program at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Arnson, the Woodrow Wilson analyst, said that the electoral council’s decision and Maduro’s acceptance were positive developments. But she also wondered how it would turn out, with Maduro now the president.

“Venezuela excels in bizarre situations in governance,” she said. “So you have agreed to an audit that takes a month to do and at the same time you have Maduro being inaugurated.”

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