Maduro narrowly wins Venezuela election, opposition cries foul

Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver who became late socialist leader Hugo Chavez’s protege, narrowly won Venezuela’s presidential election on Sunday but his rival refused to accept the result and demanded a recount, Reuters reports.

Maduro won 50.7 percent of the vote, whereas his rival, Miranda state Governor Henrique Capriles, gained 49.1 percent, according to preliminary official results announced by the National Electoral Council.

During his election campaign, Maduro, 50, pledged to push forward Chavez’s “21st century socialism,” which brought popular health, education and food programs to the poor. Capriles, 40, vowed to bring change to the nation of 29 million people if elected.

Capriles has refused to recognize his rival’s victory and called for a recount, citing irregularities in the vote. Maduro insisted that the election results are legitimate.

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