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Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

Opposition makes gains in local elections

November 24, 2008

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— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s allies won a majority in Venezuela’s local elections Sunday, but the opposition made important gains, capturing the mayor’s office in the capital and winning two of the most populous states.

With more than 95 percent of votes counted, opposition candidates won at least three states, while Chavez’s allies had won 17 in Sunday’s vote, election agency chief Tibisay Lucena said.

The opposition won in the two most populous states — Miranda and Zulia — as well as Nueva Esparta, Lucena said. The Caracas mayor’s office now shifts from a Chavez supporter to an opponent.

Chavez’s brother, Adan, won the governor’s race to succeed their father in the president’s home state of Barinas. The results of two other states — Carabobo and Tachira — were still too close to call.

Turnout topped 65 percent among the 16.8 million registered voters, a new high for a local election in Venezuela, Lucena said.

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