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16 Feb, 2009 03:28

Chavez victorious in bid to stay in power

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has won a referendum to eliminate term limits, enabling him to run again for president in 2012.

National electoral authorities have announced that more than 54 per cent voted in favor of scrapping term-limits that will allow Chavez to run for office indefinitely.

According to electoral officials, 46 per cent voted against the measure removing term limits for public officials, and with 94 per cent of the vote counted would be unable to block passage of the referendum.

After singing the national anthem from the balcony of his Miraflores palace, Chavez proclaimed, “Today we opened wide the gates of the future. Venezuela will not return to its past of indignity.”

Supporters of the president came into the streets with fireworks and flags to celebrate the victory.