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Venezuela Poll:  Chavez Gains Support in Referendum

An independent polling firm in Venezuela says President Hugo Chavez is gaining support for a February 15 referendum that would abolish term limits and allow him to seek re-election indefinitely.

The Datanalisis firm says a survey of 1,300 people indicates that more than 51 percent of voters support a constitutional amendment to end term limits for all elected officials. Last month, another Datanalisis poll put support for President Chavez's proposal at below 40 percent.

The current constitution bans the president from running again when his term ends in 2012.

In late 2007, voters narrowly rejected a package of measures including one that would have eliminated presidential term limits. In a speech at that time, Mr. Chavez said the defeat was only "for now" and that he would continue his battle to build socialism.

Mr. Chavez was first elected in 1998. He won approval for a new constitution the following year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP