On Sunday Venezuela president Hugo Chavez won a referendum to eliminate presidential term limits Sunday and vowed to remain in power for at least another decade to complete his socialist revolution.
The opponents accepted his win but however commented that Chavez is becoming a dictator, the Associated Press reported.
A total of 94 percent of the votes counted, 54 percent had voted for the constitutional amendment, National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena said, the AP reported.
Forty-six percent had voted against it, a trend she called irreversible. She said turnout was 67 percent.
The celebrations were marked with the explosion of fireworks in the sky and caravans of supporters celebrating in the streets, waving red flags and honking horns. Thousands of people gathered outside Miraflores Palace, where the former paratroop commander appeared on a balcony to sing the national anthem and address the crowd.
Those who voted 'yes' today voted for socialism, for revolution, Chavez said, the AP reported. He called the victory — which allows all public officials to run for re-election indefinitely — a mandate to speed his transformation of Venezuela into a socialist state.
He also said, we opened wide the gates of the future. In 2012 there will be presidential elections, and unless God decides otherwise, unless the people decide otherwise, this soldier is already a candidate.
According to opponents, Chavez already has far too much power, with the courts, the legislature and the election council all under his influence.
They also commented that the removal of the 12-year presidential term limit will make him unstoppable.