Chavez claims victory

In America Latina, Current Affairs, Politics on December 4, 2006 by Eliacín

Venezuelas incumbent President Hugo Chavez has claimed victory in the countrys election, hailing the poll as a triumph for his socialist revolution. Earlier, election officials announced he had taken 61 percent of the vote, ahead of rival, Manuel Rosales, who took 38 percent, with more than three-quarters of votes counted.

Thousands of supporters of Chavez took to the streets to celebrate-chanting, dancing and sounding car horns. Chavez secured support from the poor, using the countrys oil revenues to fund social programmes. The 52-year-old former Lieutenant-Colonel aims to take further state control of the countrys oil industry. And hes vowed to scrap presidential term limits and create a single party.

His rival, Manuel Rosales, who campaigned on free-market policies and the virtues of attracting foreign investment, has conceded victory. Chavez has said Rosales would cry fraud if he lost, but the poll was monitored by hundreds of international observers.


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