Hugo Chavez ally scrapes to victory in Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro celebrates after the official results gave him victory Credit: Reuters

Nicolas Maduro has won the tightest of victories in the Presidential election in Venezuela to succeed Hugo Chavez.

In the end there were around 300,000 votes between him and opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who called for a full recount. However, the National Electoral Council said Maduro's victory was "irreversible."

  • Hugo Chavez named Nicolas Maduro as his preferred successor

  • He has promised to carry on Chevez's self-styled socialist revolution

  • Before getting into politics Maduro worked as a bus driver

  • He then rose through the ranks of politics by his faithful following of Chavez

  • As Foreign Minister he had a reputation as a loyalist who never diverted from Chavez's line

  • When Chavez was jailed for the failed coup that made him famous, Maduro took to the streets to demand his release

  • Maduro's partner, Cilia Flores, led the legal team that helped get Chavez freed

  • The two have long been seen as a power couple in the government

Nicolas Maduro built his campaign by vowing to continue "21st century socialism".

He will have to set his own political route as he steers through a difficult economic environment and potential divisions within the diverse coalition that Chavez built.

His first weeks in office will offer a glimpse of his own vision for Venezuela, a country which faces rising inflation and slowing growth. The country also has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.