CARACAS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan election authorities formally closed the majority polling in the nation's presidential election at 6.51 p.m. local time on Sunday (2321 GMT), according to National Electoral Council (CNE).
The election pits incumbent Hugo Chavez from the Great Democratic Pole coalition, against Henrique Capriles from the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition.
Chavez, who has been in power since February 1999, is seeking to extend his "21st century socialism" project for greater nationalization and more rights for the poor. Capriles, who calls his position "progressive," says he is seeking to follow Brazil's centre-left example.
Some 19 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote in Sunday's elections, which began a 6.00 a.m. local time (1030 GMT). Venezuelans are not obliged to vote, but many treat Election Day as a celebration.