Hugo Chavez may or may not be Venezuela’s president-for-life, but he most likely will be the country’s president for the next six years after winning re-election in a closely watched contest on Sunday.
Of course, Chavez’s health is the most significant factor that will determine whether he will be able to serve the full term: He began treatment for cancer more than a year ago.
With 90 percent of the ballots counted on Sunday night, the incumbent Chavez, with 54.42 percent, bested the challenger Henrique Capriles, with 44.97 percent, according to Venezuelan National Electoral Council figures reported by Reuters.
In the election, Chavez and Capriles were the standard-bearers of the left United Socialist Party of Venezuela and the center-right Justice First, respectively.
Chavez's new term begin Jan. 10. Assuming he serves the full term, he will have been in office for 20 years at the end of it.