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Chávez watch: Chávez forever

On February 15, Venezuelans went to the polls to vote on a constitutional amendment eliminating term limits for public officials, including the president. The result was a victory for Hugo Chávez, the president, with 54.3% of the electorate voting in favour of the change. The result means that Chávez could rule his country for at least another decade. In his speech after the results were announced, Chávez avoided his usual jubilant claims for sweeping economic changes, promising to focus on more immediate issues. Rampant crime, corruption and inefficient institutions that waste large sums of money are the top priority this year.

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