15 Apr 2013

Maduro wins presidential election in Venezuela

8:11 pm on 15 April 2013

Socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro has won a narrow victory in Venezuela's presidential poll.

Mr Maduro, who was chosen by the late Hugo Chavez, won 50.7% of the vote against 49.1% for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, the BBC reports.

The electoral commission said the results were "irreversible".

Mr Maduro told a rally of supporters in the capital Caracas that he had won a "just, legal and constitutional" victory, the BBC reports.

However, the margin of victory was far smaller than that gained by Mr Chavez over Mr Capriles at elections in October last year. Mr Maduro said he was willing to allow an audit of the election result.

Henrique Capriles said he would not recognise the result until all votes are counted and said there had been irregularities in the voting which made Mr Maduro's win invalid.

Almost 80% of eligible voters took part in the poll.

Mr Maduro had been serving as acting president since Mr Chavez died of cancer on 5 March.

He is due to be sworn in on 19 April and serve until January 2019 to complete the six-year term that Mr Chavez would have begun in January.