Hugo Chavez won a fourth 6 year term as Venezuela's presidente as a lat minute surge of votes form his political stronghold put him ahead of challenger Henrique Capriles with 54.4 percent of the vote to Capriles' 44.9 percent.
Over 80% of Venezuela's 19 million registered voters participated in the election, a record turnout.
Capriles conceded at his campaign headquarters, but he said that the support of millions of Venezuelans showed that his proposals had popular support and asked that Chavez to take the opposition’s positions into account.
“I’m convinced that this country can be better,” Capriles said in a halting, emotional speech. “Being a good president means working for all Venezuelans.”
Capriles campaigned on more fiscal responsibility, reforms in Chavez's bloated and corrupt bureaucracy, Venezuela’s decaying infrastructure, the stifling of the private sector and the out of control crime rate.
Obviously the army still likes Chavez, and his widespread spending on social welfare benefits has purchased the votes of a fair number of supporters. How long that can go on, even with Venezuela's oil wealth is another question.