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Maduro wins Venezuela election with 51% of votes

Ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela's presidential election on Sunday with 51 per cent of votes, the electoral authority said, allowing him to carry forward the socialist policies of the late Hugo Chavez.

Maduro's young challenger, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, took 49 percent of the ballots, the authority said, in a tighter-than-expected vote.


Fears over Venezuela's Presidential election result

Both sides in an election to choose a successor to Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chavez expressed confidence of victory after Sunday's vote, raising fears that the official result could be contested.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro led all polls before the vote, buoyed by Chavez's blessing before he died from cancer last month and vowing to continue the former president's self-styled socialist revolution.

But Maduro's rival, state governor Henrique Capriles, appeared to close the gap in the last days of the short campaign.

Venezuela's opposition complains of illegal voting

Following opposition complaints that some people were illegally helping elderly voters cast their ballots, Henrique Capriles urged his followers to report any violations of election laws.

But he also stressed he would respect the outcome of the vote, whatever it might be.

Venezuelan opposition leader and presidential candidate Henrique Capriles holds up his ink-stained finger after casting his ballot. Credit: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

"Today, all Venezuelans are reporters. If you see something irregular, take a picture, air it on social media," Capriles said after voting.

"But let there be no doubt, we will respect the will of the people."

Electoral authorities said voting was going smoothly and that there was no evidence of irregularities.

Given the deep mutual mistrust on both sides, some worry that a close or contested result could spark unrest.

Some 170 international observers were on hand, many from left-leaning political parties across Latin America.

Polls were due to close on Sunday, but voting continued past that in some places to accommodate queues.


Venezuela votes on successor to Hugo Chavez

The people of Venezuelan voted on whether to honour Hugo Chavez's dying wish for a long time loyalist to continue his self-styled socialist revolution or hand power to a young challenger promising business-friendly changes.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro led opposition rival Henrique Capriles in most polls heading into the vote, buoyed by Chavez's public blessing before he died from cancer last month.

cting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores visit the tomb of late President Hugo Chavez Credit: REUTERS/Francisco Batista/Miraflores Palace/Handout (V

Maduro supporters mobilised voters with pre-dawn bugle calls in the rough barrios of Caracas, where Chavez is revered as a hero of the poor.

"We're going to elect Maduro president because he's following the path set by Chavez," Morelia Roa, a 58-year-old nurse, said after casting her ballot in the same working class Caracas district where Maduro voted.

Lines formed under blistering sunshine at some voting centers, but many were shorter than they were at last October's election, when an ailing Chavez beat Capriles. Then, a record 80 percent of registered voters cast ballots following an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign by the Chavista camp.

Capriles alleges plan to “change” Venezuala election

Venezuela opposition candidate Henrique Capriles has alleged via Twitter there is a plan to “change” the country's election result.

Venezuela's opposition leader, Capriles, alleged there was a plan to try and change the results of the South American nation's presidential election.

"We alert the country and the world of the intention to try and change the will expressed by the people," he said in a Twitter message.

Capriles' aides confirmed the tweet was legitimate.

Government officials called it irresponsible.

Venezuela acting president threatens curse on election

enezuela's acting President and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro waves to supporters during a campaign rally at the state of Bolivar. Credit: Reuters

Venezuelan acting president Nicolas Maduro has said a centuries-old curse would fall on the heads of those who do not vote for him in next week's election to pick a successor to late leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro's invocation of the "curse of Macarapana" was the latest twist in an increasingly surreal fight between him and opposition leader Henrique Capriles for control of the South American OPEC nation of 29 million people.

"If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Macarapana is falling on him," said Maduro, referring to the 16th-century Battle of Macarapana when Spanish colonial fighters massacred local Indian forces.

Acting Venezuelan President Maduro registers his candidacy

To the cheers of thousands of supporters, acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro officially registered his candidacy today for the upcoming elections.

The 50-year-old arrived to the National Electoral Council driving his own bus to register his candidacy.

Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro talks to supporters today. Credit: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

"I am going to accomplish his orders (referring to Chavez) with the biggest love that he cultivated in our hearts. I am not Chavez, but I am his son and together with the people, we are Chavez," Maduro said after registering his candidacy.

Both Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles have begun Venezuela's election race with scathing personal attacks on one another.

Maduro has registered as a candidate in the upcoming April presidential elections. Credit: REUTERS/Marco Bello

Maduro, who was sworn in as acting president after Chavez succumbed to cancer last week, is seen as the favourite to win the April 14 election, bolstered by an oil-financed state apparatus and a wave of public sympathy over Chavez's death.

Thousands of people lined the streets in Venezuela today. Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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