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Big test for Chavez in vote for Venezuela's future

Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 01:14

Oct. 7 - Venezuelans vote in what is likely cancer survivor Hugo Chavez's toughest presidential race yet - against political polar opposite, rival Henrique Capriles. Jessica Gray reports.

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez calls for peace on the eve polls that could pose the fiercest challenge to his 14-year-rule. His main opponent is 40-year-old, Henrique Capriles - a state governor who has run a marathon eight-month campaign uniting the historically fractured opposition. Polls show Chavez in front. The fierce U.S. critic has used record oil revenues to support ideological allies around the world. This election will watched closely from the U.S. to Belarus to Iran. His young challenger has edged close to an upset. Capriles is a centrist politician who wants to copy Brazil's model of respect for private enterprise, along with strong welfare programs. The campaign has not seen a feared sustained violence among supporters. But the president's critics worry the worst could be ahead should the president refuse to admit defeat if the vote doesn't go his way. Venezuelans heading to the polls Sunday will use an electronic ballot system, with the winner set to be announced only after counting shows a candidate has an irreversible lead.

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Big test for Chavez in vote for Venezuela's future

Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 01:14