Venezuela: Hugo Chavez wins 3rd re-election

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Hugo Chavez
Caracas, Oct 8: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won a re-election on Sunday, defeating Henrique Capriles and ensured six more years in office. This was the socialist leader's third re-election victory during his 14 years in office.

Chavez won more then 54 per cent of the votes while Capriles got 45 per cent, the national Electoral Council said. The election saw over 80 per cent of the 19 million registered voters cast their ballots, one of the biggest turnouts in several years. Chavez won more than 7.4 million votes, which is more than 1.2 million votes than Capriles polled.

In 2006, Chavez had won 63 per cent of the ballots polled. It is believed that this win would cement Chavez's legacy and allow him to proceed with his socialist mission in the Latin American nation.

Supporters of the 58-year-old leader celebrated and burst crackers outside his presidential palace to celebrate the victory. Capriles congratulated Chavez and asked his supporters not to lose faith. He said his supporters had sowed seeds across Venezuela and they would produce trees in the future.

The 40-year-old Capriles, the former governor of Miranda, had emerged into a strong challenger to Chavez after winning a primary in February and led opposition which looked more organised. However, in the end, it was the Venezuelan President who had the last laugh.

Chavez, who has been fighting cancer of late, directed heavy funds to build social programmes including pro-poor benefits ahead of the polls and the pro-Chavez voters felt that, despite his faults, the Venezuelan President did a great work in using the nation's oil wealth for the benefit of the poor and also by providing the latter free medical care, public housing and other government facilities.

His critics, however, said that the president created divisions by terming his opponents as fascists and neo-Nazis. They said it would be difficult for his opponents to cope with another six years of Chavez's stay in office.

OneIndia News

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