Venezeula: Maduro Victory

Nicolás Maduro wins Venezeula election with thin margin

Venezuelan voters have narrowly endorsed Hugo Chávez's choice of a successor in a presidential election that gives Nicolás Maduroa six-year mandate to consolidate the ruling party's Bolivarian socialist revolution.

The former union negotiator squeaked to victory with a less than two percentage point margin over his rival, Henrique Capriles, after a short but highly charged campaign that was overshadowed by the absent figure who had dominated the country's politics for 14 years.

"I'm here to assume my responsibility with courage ... The fight continues!" Maduro, 50, told a victory rally.

There was no immediate response from Capriles, who earlier on Sunday alleged that there was a plan to try to change the result of the election.

Capriles, 40, had argued that voters were tired of divisive Chavez-era politics, and vowed to tackle daily worries such as violent crime, high inflation and creaking utilities.