CARACAS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela set in motion its latest presidential election on Sunday morning to determine who will run the South American country from 2013 to 2019.
The polling stations opened at 6:00 a.m. local time (1030 GMT) for the country's 19 million registered voters, and are scheduled to close at 6:00 p.m. (2230 GMT).
But the National Electoral Council (CNE) has said the voting places will not shut their doors until there are no more voters waiting in the queue.
Six candidates are competing in the race, but the election is widely seen as a two-man competition between incumbent President Hugo Chavez and Henrique Capriles, the candidate of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Unity.
The winner of the first-past-the-post, single-round race will take office in January 2013. Chavez, now 58 and in his 13th year in power, led in recent polls.
The CNE has deployed 39,322 ballot boxes to around 13,810 polling stations. Some 99,000 Venezuelans overseas are also entitled to vote in embassies and consulates worldwide.
Some 139,000 soldiers and reservists have been deployed nationwide to protect voters and electoral officials.
The CNE has also affirmed that the election would be transparent under the monitoring of national and international observers, including a mission from the Union of South American Nations.
CARACAS, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelans were urged on Saturday to cast their ballots in an upcoming presidential election to determine the course of the country.
"We need to maintain civil conduct on a day which respresents a crucial commitment for the nation," Pablo Perez, governor of Venezuela's most populous Zulia state, said in a televised speech. Full story
CARACAS, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that peace would be guaranteed by Venezuela's citizens at the presidential election on Sunday.
"The greatest guarantee of peace we have is the willingness, on behalf of Venezuela's citizens, to accept whatever result the election produces," Chavez told a broadcast press conference, "I am sure that everything will take place peacefully and that the key political actors will recognize the nation's voice as given by the electoral referee." Full story