All aboard as Maduro takes the wheel in election stunt

Venezuela's acting president Nicolas Maduro got behind the wheel of a public bus -- his former job -- as he vowed to steer the country into a socialist future after the death of Hugo Chavez.

Maduro, the handpicked successor to Chavez who died last week, said his bus trip symbolized Venezuela's journey "towards socialism" as he hit the campaign trail for April 14 elections.

The 50-year-old used to be employed as a bus driver by state public transport network Metrobus in the early 1990s before he met Chavez, who died on March 5, and entered politics.

Maduro's bus drive on Thursday came as he turned over 352 homes in a public housing project named after Chavez in the northern state of Vargas.

The homes, which were built under an agreement with Turkey, were turned over to victims of devastating floods which hit Venezuela in 2010.

The complex will eventually feature 1,480 homes on a sprawling 89-acre (36-hectare) site, state television VTV reported.