Celebrations erupted at the ruling party headquarters in several Caracas as acting President Nicolas Maduro was elected leader.
After a tightly fought campaign Venezuelans have voted to keep faith with their late leader, Hugo Chavez and side with the man he trusted to carry on his self-proclaimed socialist revolution.
But the out come was far closer than expected with Maduro taking 51 per cent of the vote.
His main challenger, with his business friendly policies, was the centre-right Henrique Capriles who polled 49 per cent.
Although both sides have made accusations of fraud and voting rigging, the election authorities have urged everyone to respect the result.