Chavez re-elected Venezuelan president

With 90 percent of the votes counted, Chavez, who will serve a third six-year term starting from January 2013, defeated opposition challenger Henrique Capriles, who represents the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition and gained 44.97 percent of votes, reported Xinhua.

Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (C) holds the sword of South American liberator Simon Bolivar while speaking to supporters after receiving news of his re-election in Caracas

"We achieved an 80.9 percent participation rate, the highest participation rate in decades," Tibisay Lucena Ramirez, president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced late Sunday.

Chavez supporters fired massive fireworks into the sky in celebration, as the result was announced.

Some 19 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote in Sunday's elections. The polling stations were supposed to close at 6 p.m., but many polling stations stayed open later because voters were still waiting outside to vote.

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