Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez shrugged off cancer and a unified opposition to triumph yet again at the ballot box and claim another six-year mandate to pursue his oil-funded socialist revolution.

Sunday proved a sterner test than previous elections in Chavez's 14-year tenure, but the bombastic anti-American leftist emerged victorious again despite health scares, growing discontent and a strong opposition challenge.

With nearly all the votes counted, Chavez had 7,731,972, or 54.66 percent, compared to 6,327,429, or 44.73 percent, for his youthful opponent, former Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles.

Addressing thousands of cheering supporters from the balcony of his Miraflores presidential residence, Chavez sang the national anthem and vowed to be a better president.

“Viva Venezuela! Viva the fatherland!” exulted the leftist leader. “The battle was perfect and the victory was perfect.””I want to include everybody, including sectors of the opposition,” the 58-year-old Chavez, wearing his trademark red shirt, said in a tacit acceptance of the best electoral showing against him yet.

But, brandishing the sword of his 19th century idol, independence hero Simon Bolivar, he pledged to press ahead with a socialist revolution that has antagonized opponents, both at home and abroad.

“Venezuela will continue its march toward the democratic socialism of the 21st century,” he said. – Text by AFP, photos by Agencies

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gestures while speaking to supporters after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas on October 7, 2012. According to the National Electoral Council, Chavez was reelected with 54.42% of the votes, beating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who obtained 44.47%. ? Photo by AFP
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gestures while speaking to supporters after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas on October 7, 2012. According to the National Electoral Council, Chavez was reelected with 54.42% of the votes, beating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who obtained 44.47%. ? Photo by AFP
Venezulean presidential candidate Henrique Capriles leaves after a press conference where he spoke to supporters after receiving news of his defeat in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Venezulean presidential candidate Henrique Capriles leaves after a press conference where he spoke to supporters after receiving news of his defeat in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrate after receiving news of his reelection in Caracas. ? Photo by AFP
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cheer as he appears on a balcony of Miraflores Palace in Caracas. ? Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez cheer as he appears on a balcony of Miraflores Palace in Caracas. ? Photo by Reuters
A supporter of President Hugo Chavez carries a painting of Independence hero Simon Bolivar outside the Miraflores presidential palace as they celebrate in Caracas. ? Photo by AP
A supporter of President Hugo Chavez carries a painting of Independence hero Simon Bolivar outside the Miraflores presidential palace as they celebrate in Caracas. ? Photo by AP

Comments (4) (Closed)


tabinda shabnum
Oct 08, 2012 08:08pm
may ALLAH bless him.... he is 1 of the true leader ...... all Muslim world need this kind of strong leaders .
Cyrus Howell
Oct 08, 2012 07:09pm
The poor people have given Chavez his mandate. He may be odd, but he has been good for Venezuela overall, and has created some social experiments like creating plastic housing out of the country's crude oil.
Basit Ali
Oct 08, 2012 09:02pm
Its a great victory for equality and justice for the masses of Venezuela, and for progressive anti-imperialist forces. Congratulations to Chavez and Venezuelan people! Why can't Pakistani people be blessed by such a leader? Why do we have third rate leaders in Pakistan whose only talent is either emotional exploitation of people or exploitation of religion for their political power and glory?
Janan
Oct 08, 2012 05:28pm
we need leader like him.