Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a lasting dialogue with all the country's opposition parties and for citizens to leave behind the strife and make way for reconciliation with all sectors of the country.
Speaking from the balcony of the Miraflores Palace, Maduro, who was re-elected Sunday, reiterated that dialogue was the only way the South American could end infighting.
Highlighting the level of participation in the election, which saw him capture an estimated 68 percent of the popular vote, Maduro said: "It has been a heroic, beautiful, popular victory forged in the struggle."
"I'm the president of all of the Venezuelans. I call for a dialogue process. Permanent dialogue is what Venezuela needs," he said.
"The revolution is here to stay!" Maduro later told the crowd, promising to prioritize the country's economy and socioeconomic development during his new term and fight off "imperialism" from the external forces, which tried to derail the country's election.
#VenezuelaDecides | @NicolasMaduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Sunday night.#VenezuelaVota pic.twitter.com/ZHjWdtEl1O— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 21, 2018
"If the empire or the right-wing governments of the region want, someday, to talk in peace and respect I'm always open to dialogue," Maduro said.
Adding: "To the empire, I say: understand that Venezuela is the warranty of social and political stability in our country and the region. It's a sin to try and destabilize Venezuela.
He also congratulated the National Electoral Council (CNE) and celebrated the participation of international observers during Sunday's election.
Some 150 international observers from 30 countries and international organizations were in Venezuela for the elections.
With most of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNEPresident Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.
Falcon, who had promised to change Venezuela’s currency, said he wouldn't recognize the results, claiming that they were "illegitimate." He also blamed abstentionist in the opposition for his loss and called for new elections to be called for October.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Spanish Prime Minister and also an international observer, gave positive feedback about the presidential elections.
"I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system. I come here to keep the peace, coordinate and promote dialogue to improve the democratic mechanism here. What I need to do here is to see whether people can cast their ballots at their own discretion. Now we all see how people vote, don't we?" he said.
Other international observers monitoring the Venezuelan elections said Sunday that the vote took place without any incidents, in an atmosphere full exercise of civic duty.