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Chavez referendum nixes term limits

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will have the chance to run for an unprecedented third time in 2012 after the decade-long ruler won a referendum on Sunday that eliminated term limits.

“In 2012 there will be presidential elections, and unless God decides otherwise, unless the people decide otherwise, this soldier is already a candidate,? Chavez said in an Associated Press story.

According to the Associated Press, 54 percent of voters sided with Chavez, former paratroop commander, by voting to eliminate the 12-year presidential term limit Chavez pushed through in 1999. Ninety-four percent of the vote has been counted, and Information Minister Jesse Chacon said the turnout was as high as 70 percent.

Chavez, who failed to pass a broader version of the referendum in December 2007, said he needs more time to facilitate the country’s transition to socialism according to the Associated Press article.

"Those who voted 'yes' today voted for socialism, for revolution," he said.