Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez comfortably won re-election on Sunday, quashing the opposition’s best chance at unseating him in 14 years and cementing himself as a dominant figure in modern Latin American history.
“Today we’ve shown thatVenezuela’s democracy is one of the best democracies in the world, and we will continue to show it,” the 58-year-old Chavez shouted. Crowds roared, and the smoke of fireworks clouded the air, Reuters reported.
With 90% of the ballots counted Sunday night, Chavez has 54.42% of the vote compared with 44.97% for Capriles, according to Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Electoral Council.
Chavez had secured 7.4 million votes and Capriles 6.1 million votes, election officials said.
In a speech to his supporters, Capriles congratulated Chavez on his victory and urged him to take into account the different views expressed by voters.
“Being a good president means working for the vision of all Venezuelans,” he said