Chavez re-elected Venezuelan president

Incumbent Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has won the presidential election with 54.42 percent of the vote, an official said.

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.

"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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