Hugo Chavez's Heir Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuela Presidency

The election of Hugo Chavez’s successor on Sunday has sparked a demand for a recount by his rival. Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela’s presidential election on Sunday by a very narrow margin (234,935 votes to be exact) and according to electoral officials, he earned just 50.7 percent of the votes compared to 49.1 percent for Henrique Capriles.

According to the Associated Press, the narrow margin highlights rising discontent in Venezuela over everything from crime to power blackouts. During the campaigning period, Capriles’ main message to the Venezuelan people was that the late Chavez put Venezuela with the world’s largest oil reserves on the path to ruin; he also emphasized “the incompetence of the state.”

After the votes were counted and broadcast, 40-year-old Capriles said that “it is the government that has been defeated” and that his campaign team came up with different results than what were announced on Sunday.

“The biggest loser today is you,” Capriles said, directly addressing the new president through the camera. “The people don't love you.” As for Maduro’s speech after it was announced he won, he said that Capriles had called him for a “pact,” which he refused.  

According to Fox News, Armed forces joint chief, Gen. Wilmer Barrientos, had reportedly called on the military to accept the results announced. Meanwhile, a campaign staffer on Capriles' camp told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that he met with the military high command after polls closed – a statement that campaign official Armando Briquet later denied.

Maduro had served as acting president since Chavez died of a massive heart attack on March 5, 2013.

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