Caracas, December 3, 2006– According to the first preliminary results from Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, President Hugo Chavez won the presidency with 61.4% of the vote to his challenger’s 38.4%. This is with 78.3% of the votes counted.
So far, Chavez got 5.9 million votes and Manuel Rosales, the candidate of the opposition, who got 3.7 million votes. This means that Chavez got slightly more votes than during the 2004 recall referendum and about 23 percentage points more than Rosales.
CNE President Tibisay Lucena also announced that as soon as 80% of the votes had been tallied, the CNe would make an announcement of who officially won the presidency.
In middle and upper class neighborhoods people started booing and banging pots in protest to the announcement, while in the capital’s poor neighborhoods people began launching fireworks in celebration.
A mere 20 minutes after the CNE announcement, Chavez appeared on the balcony of the Miraflores Presidential Palace, singing the national anthem to a crowd of supporters who had gathered below in the midst of a heavy downpour.