Venezuela's left-wing President Hugo Chavez will seek another six-year term in an election on October 7.
Denounced as a dictator by his foes, Chavez's supporters say his democratic credentials are proven by the fact there have been about a dozen national elections during his rule.
Despite undergoing three operations for cancer in less than 12 months, he was vowed to win the ballot. Here are some facts on Chavez's record at the ballot box:
* December 1998 - After leading a failed coup attempt six years earlier, ex-soldier Chavez galvanizes anger with the traditional elite to win the presidency with 56 percent of the vote.
* April 1999 - Chavez wins more than 80 percent support in a referendum to create a new popular assembly charged with rewriting the constitution.
* July 1999 - The president's candidates win at least 119 seats in the new 131-member, constitution-making assembly.
* December 1999 - More than 70 percent of Venezuelans approve a new constitution which, crucially, extends presidential terms to six years from five and allows immediate re-election for a further six-year period.
* July 2000 - Chavez wins another presidential election under the new constitution, gaining 60 percent of the vote in a clear popular mandate to continue his leftist "revolution."
* December 2000 - Government candidates win majority of posts in local municipal and parish elections.
* August 2004 - In a "recall referendum" sought by the opposition to try to oust Chavez, he wins 59 percent of the vote and remains in power.
* October 2004 - In regional elections, the government wins all but two of 23 governorships.
* December 2005 - Opposition boycotts parliamentary elections, giving Chavez candidates total control.
* December 2006 - Chavez wins a presidential vote for the third time with almost 63 percent of ballots cast.
* December 2007 - In the first electoral defeat for Chavez in nearly a decade, Venezuelans vote down proposed reforms that include allowing him to run for re-election indefinitely. Chavez calls the opposition triumph in the referendum vote a "pyrrhic" and "shit" victory.
* November 2008 - At regional elections, Chavez's candidates keep control of 17 states, but the opposition erodes his dominance by winning six races, including the powerful Caracas mayoralty.
* February 2009 - Chavez reverses the results of his 2007 defeat by winning a new referendum, with 56 percent of vote, removing the limits on his re-election.
* September 2010 - Chavez's ruling Socialist Party wins a majority in parliament, but the opposition surpasses the crucial one third of seats and says it won the majority of votes cast.
(Writing and reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit, and Caracas newsroom)