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December 09, 2013 AT 8:24 AM
President Nicolas Maduro's government won a majority of votes in Venezuela's local elections on Sunday, disappointing the opposition and helping his quest to preserve the late Hugo Chavez's socialist legacy. The election board said, with votes in from three-quarters of the nation's 337 mayoral races, the ruling party and allies had combined 49.2 percent support, compared with the opposition coalition and its partners' 42.7 percent. Since taking power in April, Maduro, a 51-year-old former bus driver, has faced a plethora of economic problems including slowing growth, the highest inflation in the Americas, and shortages of basic goods including milk and toilet paper.