Chavez wins fourth term as Venezuela president

08 October 2012 05:21  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has clinched a fourth term as the country’s president after beating opposition candidate and closest rival Henrique Capriles, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Sunday.

According to the CNE, President Chavez won 54.4% of the popular vote, with 90% of the votes counted. Capriles took 44.9% of the vote.

Turnout was 80%, with many polling stations remaining open after the official closing time in order that all votes were cast.

In total, 19m Venezuelans at home and 100,000 overseas were registered to vote.

Capriles appeared on television a few minutes after the result was announced to speak to his supporters.

“All of you should be proud,” he said. “We have started something that will continue to flourish, and you must not feel defeated today.”

Chavez was due to speak later on Sunday evening.

The President’s re-election means that at the end of this six-year term his time in power will have extended to twenty years.

In the run-up to the election, Chavez vowed to increase oil production and reduce dependence on the US market by doubling crude exports to Asia.

The president’s new six year term begins in February.

By: Simon West

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