A member of Venezuela's top electoral authority says it has formally decided not to meet opposition demands for a top-to-bottom audit of the April 14 presidential election, heightening tensions over the almost evenly split and contested vote.

The government is threatening to jail opposition head Henrique Capriles on charges of masterminding postelection violence. Capriles says he will boycott the audit and challenge what he calls a stolen election in court.

Both sides are stopping short of moves that would escalate the conflict into direct hostility. For the government, jailing Capriles could bring international condemnation and drive more people into the opposition camp. For Capriles, open confrontation could bolster accusations that he only wants violence.