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Chavez Urged To Strengthen Venezuela's Institutions, Promote Basic Freedoms
226 days ago
(RTTNews) - European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has called upon Venezuela's re-elected President Hugo Chavez to "reach out to all segments of Venezuelan society to strengthen the country's institutions, and promote fundamental freedoms, inclusion and sustainable economic development."
In a statement on Monday, the EU High Representative reminded Chavez that "with victory comes responsibility."
Ashton congratulated Chavez on his re-election. She welcomed the high voter turnout and the calm atmosphere on election day and after declaring the results. This demonstrates the
commitment to democracy of the Venezuelan people, Ashton noted, and praised all parties for the rapid acceptance of the results.
Chavez won a third consecutive six-year term in office defeating the joint Opposition candidate in Sunday's presidential elections.
Eighty percent of some 19 million eligible voters exercised their franchise to decide who will lead the oil exporting South American country until 2019.
Chavez, 58, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, had actively campaigned for his third consecutive term, stressing that he needed six more years in office to consolidate his socialist policies. He had already nationalized several key sectors of the oil-rich nation's economy.
The maverick socialist has been ruling Venezuela since 1998 by winning repeated elections. He has considerable support in his home country, mainly due to the massive government spending on social programs targeting the poor. Notably, the country's Opposition parties had made major inroads into the ruling party's strongholds in last year's parliamentary elections, denying it a crucial two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
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