Venezuela Election Results 2013: Maduro Claims Victory By Narrow Margin, Capriles Refuses to Concede Yet


Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver and union boss, who ascended the ranks of the late Hugo Chavez's 'Bolivarian Revolution' to become the OPEC country's vice president, claimed a narrow victory Sunday, as opponent Henrique Capriles refused to concede the slim margin until "all votes are counted."

Tibisay Lucena, president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), announced the official results past 11:00 p.m. (EDT), momentarily stunning the nation by revealing that Maduro had obtained approximately 200,000 votes more than Capriles but stopping short of naming Chavez's successor as the new president-elect. According to an "irreversible" announcement by Lucena, Maduro obtained 7.505.338 votes (50.66%) against Henrique Capriles' 7.271.403 (49.07%).

Though the process occurred without major complications, Venezolana de Television, the government's official outlet, reported that the Twitter account of both Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) were hacked by foreign hackers — adding to the rumors and anxiety generated among supporters of both Comandos (or campaigns) who nonetheless remained optimistic till the last minute about their respective candidate's chances.

President-elect Maduro claimed victory while addressing his supporters within minutes of the CNE official announcement. He referenced the hacking incident as a rallying cry for Chavistas to remain vigilant and protect the legacy of the late socialist strongman. He also made reference to the close result by claiming that if his opponent had won by one vote he'd have been happy to concede. Maduro also vowed to advance the 'Bolivarian Revolution' during the next six years albeit "correcting what needed to be corrected."