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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 01:27 GMT 02:27 UK
In quotes: Venezuela poll reactions
Hugo Chavez
Chavez: In power since 1998

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has claimed victory after the release of results indicating he won a referendum on his rule.

But Mr Chavez' opponents - who mounted a sustained campaign to get the vote held - rejected the partial results as a fraud, insisting they had won.

Here are some of the responses so far to the outcome:

President Hugo Chavez

Venezuela has changed forever.

There is no turning back...

This has been a great victory for the Venezuelan people.

Jesus Torrealba, opposition leader

This is impossible to swallow.

Henry Ramos Allup, leader of the Democratic Co-ordinator coalition of opposition parties

We categorically and absolutely reject these results.

The National Elections Council has committed a gigantic fraud...

For Venezuela, for the people, for the huge number of men and women who risking it all, believed in the democratic and electoral system, we have to continue this struggle.

Those of us who continue believing in the constitutional, peaceful, democratic and electoral solution, in spite of everything, not even fraud and gross manipulation such as these will make us give up a single inch of our convictions.

Long live the people, long live Venezuela, the struggle goes on.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, who helped monitor the vote

More than 10 million people voted and there is a clear difference in favour of the government of President Chavez.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe

A beautiful lesson in democracy.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's Workers' Party

Venezuela's democratic process strengthens South America's democratic integration.

Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa

I just wish the post-referendum period would be marked by the same level of civility as the balloting itself.

US State department spokesman

We note the OAS and Carter Center announcement that their quick count was consistent with the National Electoral Council's preliminary results.

We also note their offer to work with the opposition to conduct a full audit of the results and to examine any concerns that have arisen.

We encourage the National Electoral Council to allow a transparent audit to address any concerns and assure Venezuelan citizens that the referendum was free and fair.

I don't have anything at this point that I can point to that would talk about a broader pattern or problem of abuse.

EU executive spokeswoman

We are happy to see that so many Venezuelans wanted to participate in the democratic process.


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