Hugo Chavez can remain Venezuela’s president until he dies, gets bored or loses the job in an election, now that a referendum dropping term limits has succeeded. Chavez was facing mandatory retirement in 2012. An earlier attempt to extend his time in office failed. International election observers pronounced the process free and fair.
With 94% of votes counted, 54% backed an end to term limits, a National Electoral Council official said.
Mr Chavez has said he needs to stay in office beyond the end of his second term in 2012 so he can secure what he calls Venezuela’s socialist revolution.
Critics say that would concentrate too much power in the presidency.