Henrique Capriles, Venezuela's opposition leader and governor of Miranda state, addresses the media in Caracas, Venezuela, March 10, 2013. Capriles announced Sunday that he will run in the April 14 presidential election against acting President Nicolas Maduro. (Xinhua/Juan Carlos Hernandez)
CARACAS, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's opposition leader said Sunday that he agreed to be a presidential candidate of his coalition and will formalize his candidacy before the National Electoral Council.
Henrique Capriles made the decision after the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition offered the candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in April, as required by the constitution after the death of President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday.
"I will fight with you, with you all. Nicolas, I'm not going to make way; you'll have to beat me to votes," he told reporters, challenging the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela's candidate, Nicolas Maduro, who is also the acting president after the death of Chavez.
"Still the country is in national mourning... I am impressed where things have come to our country," he said. "My fight is not to be president. My fight is for Venezuela to move forward."
Capriles has previously denounced the Supreme Court's ruling to allow Maduro to be sworn in as acting president and run for president without leaving his office as a constitutional fraud.
But the court argued that its verdict was made based on Article 233 of the Constitution, saying: "The executive vice president becomes acting president and ceases his previous post."
The National Electoral Council has set the date of the presidential election for April 14, with a pre-election campaign of 10 days to elect a successor to Chavez.
Capriles, governor of the central state of Miranda, lost to Chavez as a candidate of the MUD in last year's presidential election.
CARACAS, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) announced on Saturday after a special meeting of its Board of Directors that the presidential elections will be held on April 14.
CNE president Tibisay Lucena said the nomination of candidates will be realized on Sunday and Monday, while the electoral registration will be the same as the last elections on Oct. 7, 2012. Full story