CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelans awakened on Monday to the prospect of another six years under President Hugo Chavez as the leftist president's supporters celebrated his victory against a youthful rival and a galvanized opposition pledged to build on its gains.
Chavez emerged from Sunday's vote both strengthened and sobered, having reconfirmed his masterful political touch but also winning by his tightest margin yet. Challenger Henrique Capriles said while conceding defeat that his campaign had launched a new political force and that he would keep working for change.
With a turnout of 81 percent, Chavez only got 551,902 more votes this time around than he did six years ago, while the opposition boosted its tally by about 2.1 million. [37 photos total]

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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez cheer after polling stations closed and before any results were made available in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Venezuela's electoral council says Chavez has won re-election, defeating challenger Henrique Capriles. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez perform a mock funeral for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles as they celebrate in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets his supporters at the Miraflores presidential palace balcony in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez greets followers after winning Venezuelan presidential elections defeating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (ZUMA24.com / David Fernandez) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles cheer during a campaign rally in Barcelona, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate at the Miraflores presidential palace late Sunday Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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A motorcycle covered with posters with images of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez sits on a street after polling stations closed in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas late Sunday Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, celebrate his victory during Venezuela's Presidential elections in Caracas, Venezuela on Oct. 7, 2012. (ZUMA24.com / Juan Carlos Hernandez) #
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Supporters of President Hugo Chavez celebrate outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Supporters of President Hugo Chavez celebrate outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles is embraced by his mother Monica Radonski after he conceded defeat in the presidential elections at his campaign headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles waves to supporters as he leaves a polling station after voting in the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez arrives to a polling station during the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Chavez is running for re-election against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with an electoral worker at a polling station before casting his ballot for the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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A voter inks her thumb as part of the voting process during the presidential election at a polling station in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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An elderly woman wearing a Bolivarian militia uniform stands before an election worker, who holds her identification as part of the voting process, before casting her ballot in the presidential election at a polling station in the Petare neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Voters' shadows are cast on a wall as they wait at a polling station during the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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An elderly woman in a wheel chair is helped to enter a polling station during the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Residents look for their names on voter lists at a polling station during the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Enric Marti) #
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People line up to vote in the presidential election in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Enric Marti) #
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Voters line up at a polling station during the presidential election at Candelaria square in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP / Sharon Steinmann) #
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A giant inflatable doll representing President Hugo Chavez stands on top of a building in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A defaced election campaign poster of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hangs in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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A defaced campaign poster of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles hangs in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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People walk by election campaign posters of President Hugo Chavez and a picture of independence hero Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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An election campaign sticker promoting Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez covers another in support of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on a wall in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, one wearing a mask representing Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, attend Capriles' closing campaign rally in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez march during his closing campaign rally in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP / Sharon Steinmann) #
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Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, center, is helped to get off a vehicle as he arrives to attend his closing campaign rally in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP / Fernando Llano) #
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Under pouring rain, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds a microphone during his closing campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez cheer during a campaign rally in Maracay, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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A boy dressed as a soldier salutes during a campaign caravan of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez from Barinas to Caracas, in Sabaneta, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #
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Opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, center, gestures from the top of a vehicle during a campaign rally in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. (AP / Ariana Cubillos) #
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hold up an image of him during a campaign caravan from Barinas to Caracas, in Sabaneta, Venezuela, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Venezuela's presidential election is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) (AP / Rodrigo Abd) #

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