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Chavez wins re-election, electoral council says

12:58 AM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
Hugo Chavez
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's electoral council says President Hugo Chavez has won re-election, defeating challenger Henrique Capriles.

National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena says that with about 90 percent of votes counted, Chavez had more than 54 percent of the vote, and Capriles had 45 percent. She says Chavez won more than 7.4 million votes, beating Capriles by more than 1.2 million votes.

With 81 percent of the nearly 19 million registered voters casting ballots, she says it was one of the largest turnouts in years.

It was Chavez's third re-election victory in nearly 14 years in office. The victory gives Chavez another six-year term to cement his legacy and press more forcefully for a transition to socialism in the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

Fireworks exploded in downtown Caracas, and Chavez's supporters celebrated waving flags and jumping for joy outside the presidential palace.

Capriles congratulated Chavez and told his supporters not to feel defeated.

Associated Press

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