CARACAS, VENEZUELA (WKOW)-- 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 his youthful rival.
The state governor who lost Sunday's presidential vote, Henrique Capriles, had accused the incumbent of unfairly using Venezuela's oil wealth to finance his campaign. Still, he accepted defeat as Chavez swept to a 10-point victory margin, though it was his smallest yet in a presidential race.
Chavez will now have a freer hand to push for an even bigger state role in the economy, as he pledged during the campaign, and to continue populist programs. He's also likely to further limit dissent and deepen friendships with U.S. rivals.
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