Chavez collects signatures for re-election bid

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has begun collecting signatures for a referendum that could allow him indefinite re-election.

He says supporters will gather millions of signatures calling for the vote, which could occur as early as February.

Chavez was first elected a decade ago, and current laws would force him to leave office in 2013.

Voters last December rejected a constitutional reform that included elimination of term limits.

Chavez told supporters in Caracas on Thursday that his continued presence in the presidency "is a guarantee of peace for all Venezuelans," while any opposition victory "would be chaos for Venezuela."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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