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Profile: Venezuela's president-elect Nicolas Maduro


18:41, April 15, 2013

CARACAS, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Acting President Nicolas Maduro narrowly won Sunday's presidential elections with 50.66 percent of the votes, according to the official tally.

With 99.2 percent of the ballots counted, Maduro edged out opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who gained 49.07 percent of the vote, National Electoral Council (CNE) president Tibisay Lucena said.

Maduro, born on Nov. 23, 1962 in Caracas to a lower middle-class family, took over as the country's interim president following the death of President Hugo Chavez from cancer in March.

The former Caracas subway driver and trade union leader, as Chavez's hand-picked successor, had a strong advantage among the contenders for the presidency of the oil-rich South American country.

One of Maduro's campaign slogans was: "Chavez sets the route, Maduro takes the wheel," indicating a vote for Maduro was a vote for continuing Chavez's reformist legacy.

The partnership between Chavez and Maduro began when Maduro and his wife, General Attorney Cilia Flores, led a legal team that won Chavez's freedom after his involvement in a failed coup against then-president Carlos Andres Perez in 1992.

In 1998, he joined the Movement of the Fifth Republic, which supported Chavez's presidency bid, and worked as Chavez's assistant during his campaign.

Maduro was elected to the National Assembly in 2000 and re-elected in 2005, when he became leader of the parliament.

From 2006 to 2012, he served as the country's foreign minister, and was named vice president by Chavez in October 2012.

In December 2012, as Chavez entered the final round of his battle against cancer in Cuba, he appointed Maduro as his successor and the vice president has led the government since.

Maduro has promised to continue Chavez's "missions", which have led to vastly improved health, literacy, and general living standards among the majority of the poor and working class.

He has also pledged to tackle Venezuela's high inflation, insufficient food production and high crime rate.

During his time as acting president, Maduro has stressed he would carry out Chavez's 2013-1019 national development plan and deepen his "21st century socialism" if elected.

Posing as the "son of Chavez," Maduro insisted he never had aspirations to power.

"I'm not standing here because I'm ambitious for power. I'm not here representing a group linked to an empire. I never aspired to anything. My only ambition was to see a free and socialist motherland, and that's what Hugo Chavez gave us," he said.

Maduro's wife, Flores, currently serves as Attorney General of Venezuela. She was president of the National Assembly from 2006 to 2011, the first woman to hold the post.

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