Chavez is Venezuela President for Third Consecutive Term
President Hugo Chavez put to rest any doubts about his masterful political touch in winning a third consecutive six – year term after a bitterly fought race against a youthful rival who has galvanized Venezuela’s opposition.
The state governor who lost Sunday’s presidential vote, Henrique Capriles, had accused the flamboyant incumbent of unfairly leveraging to his advantage Venezuela’s oil wealth to finance his campaign as well as flaunting his near total control of state institutions. Capriles also narrowed Chavez’s margin of victory to his smallest yet in a presidential contest.
This time, the former army paratroop commander who led a failed 1992 coup won 55% of the vote against 45% for Capriles, with 98% of the vote counted. In 2006, Chavez’s margin of victory was 27 points. Nevertheless, the populace endorsed once again Chavez’s stated aim of converting Venezuela into a socialist state. Capriles said in his concession speech that he rejects the idea of two Venezuelas divided by ideology and class. “I will continue working to build one country,” said the wiry, 40 – year – old grandson of Holocaust survivors who unified and energized the opposition while barnstorming across the oil – exporting nation.
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