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CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ Hewlett Packard chairwoman and chief executive Carly Fiorina claimed victory Tuesday in her company's hard-fought proxy battle to buy Compaq Computer Corp., saying a preliminary estimate of shareholder votes showed enough to support the merger.

``It appears that our shareholders made a choice today, not only to embrace change, but to lead it,'' Fiorina said.

The proposed deal to acquire Compaq had been strongly opposed by members of the Hewlett and Packard families.