US congratulates Venezuelans on presidential poll
Updated: 2012-10-09 09:28
WASHINGTON - The White House on Monday extended congratulations to the Venezuelans on the peaceful conclusion of the presidential election with a high voter turnout.
White House spokesman Jay Carney noted that Venezuela's National Electoral Council on Sunday declared President Hugo Chavez the winner by garnering some 54 percent of the 90 percent of votes counted.
"We congratulate the Venezuelan people on the high level of participation, as well as on what was a relatively peaceful election process," he told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Bakersfield, California.
"I would note the challenger has conceded the race," he added.
Pressed on about his view of Chavez, who will begin his fourth presidential term starting in January 2013 with the victory, Carney said "We have our differences with President Chavez, but we congratulate the Venezuelan people on a process that included high levels of participation."
Chavez's anti-US position has been a defining feature of his presidency in the past 13 years.