Electoral chief: Allies of Chavez sweep gubernatorial seats in Venezuela elections

The Associated Press
December 17, 2012
Miranda State's Gov. Henrique Capriles laughs while casting his ballot at a polling station in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. Venezuelans are choosing governors and state lawmakers  in elections that have become a key test of whether President Hugo Chavez's movement can endure if the socialist leader leaves the political stage. The vote is the first time in Chavez's nearly 14-year-old presidency that he has been unable to actively campaign. He hasn't spoken publicly since undergoing cancer surgery on Tuesday in Cuba. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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Miranda State's Gov. Henrique Capriles laughs while casting his ballot at a polling station in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. Venezuelans are choosing governors and state lawmakers in elections that have become a key test of whether President Hugo Chavez's movement can endure if the socialist leader leaves the political stage. The vote is the first time in Chavez's nearly 14-year-old presidency that he has been unable to actively campaign. He hasn't spoken publicly since undergoing cancer surgery on Tuesday in Cuba. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's electoral chief says allies of President Hugo Chavez have swept the country's gubernatorial elections, winning in at least 19 of 23 states.

National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena announced the results on Sunday night. Lucena said that with most votes counted, one of the three opposition candidates who won included opposition leader Henrique Capriles in Miranda state.