World » Americas

Venezuela's Chavez sweeps to victory in regional ballot

The leftist leader consolidates his political power two months after winning a referendum aimed to oust him. His party now controls the strategic Caraca's administration and five new states. In Chile, the center-left ruling coalition also obtained an important victory in a key election.

"The revolution is here to stay. There's no turning back", said Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to a cheering crowd early on Monday, shortly after it became known that his political force had scored another stunning victory, this time in the regional elections. By capturing the strategic greater Caracas mayor's post and at least five more states from opponents, Chavez consolidates his political power as deepens the crisis among his foes two months after winning a referendum aimed to oust him.

The National Electoral Council director Jorge Rodriguez confirmed partial results showed supporters of the former army officer as the winning force in the ballots, in an election which did not draw the attention of many Venezuelans. Chavez, a charismatic leftist leader first elected in 1998, has vowed to strengthen his social, land and education reforms for the poor after ousting opposition governors and mayors whom he accuses of backing a brief 2002 coup against him.

"We knew what was coming. It's one more day of victory, one more victory for the people," Chavez told cheering supporters early Monday morning. Still bruised by their referendum defeat, opposition parties battled voter apathy and splits among their candidates as they competed for more than 600 governorships, state council seats and municipal offices in the world's No. 5 oil exporter.
 
Initial results showed Chavez candidates won 18 out of 22 governorship races, including the strategic Miranda state. Chavez candidates were slightly ahead in Carabobo and Yaracuy states. But the opposition managed to defend Zulia where much of the oil industry is based and capture Nueva Esparta, which covers Margarita Island. A pro-government candidate also won the key greater Caracas mayor's office while the opposition kept its district mayoral offices in the wealthier parts of the capital.

President Lagos also strengthened after Chile's elections

Voters gave strong support to the center-left government of President Ricardo Lagos on Sunday in nationwide municipal elections seen as a crucial test ahead of next year's presidential race.

According to available official information, with 81.4 percent of some 7 million votes cast for 2,144 city council members officially counted, the pro-government Coalition for
Democracy had 48.01 percent to 37.73 percent for the opposition Alliance for Chile.

Even when the election showed a preference of Chileans for the center-left ruling coalition, the results in the Capital leave open a door for the rightist candidate, Joaquin Lavin, who aims to take over presidency from Lagos in the 2005 race.

World's most powerful nuclear submarines, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are to be dismantled after 2020 - their further exploitation is unprofitable

Russia gets rid of world’s most powerful nuclear submarines

The United States' Head of Diplomacy, or Secretary of State, is an anachronistic, incompetent, meddling, intrusive, insolent and arrogant, rude individual, a brash, foul-mouthed upstart, a conceited, self-important guttersnipe and an insult to the international community, as fit for the job as a pedophile janitor in a grade school.

Tillerson must go!
Comments
Honor me: The hell with you
What will happen if USA freezes Russian dollar assets?
Russian Guard to see enemies behind walls
Putin celebrates Epiphany bathing in ice cold waters
Russia gets rid of world’s most powerful nuclear submarines
Russian Guard to see enemies behind walls
Tillerson must go!
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
Tillerson must go!
Torturing Jerusalem with USA's help: No peace, but eternal war for Jews and Arabs
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
Turkey distances itself from Russia to plunge Syria into greater chaos
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
North Korea and Double Standards. Vancouver Conference a Missed Opportunity.
Ukraine's Western allies point their guns at President Poroshenko
Ukraine's Western allies point their guns at President Poroshenko
Why did the USSR lose the Moon race?
Honor me: The hell with you
Is the Syrian War Really Over?