7 Oct 2012

Election campaigning over in Venezuela

10:39 am on 7 October 2012

Campaigning is over in a presidential election in Venezuela on Sunday.

President Hugo Chavez told supporters in Caracas on Friday that he needs a third term to consolidate social reforms.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles promised to boost economic growth and govern for all Venezuelans.

Nearly 19 million people can vote in the election.

Presidential supporters dressed in red began filling the main avenues of the capital from the early hours of Friday.

Mr Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, told them he needs another term to tackle poverty and inequality.

"In all these years, we managed to save the country and have built the foundations for the future," he said.

"In six years' time, we will be the first on health and education. In 10 years, there will be no more homeless in Venezuela," Mr Chavez promised.

The BBC reports that if he wins the election and finishes his term, he will have been in power for 20 consecutive years.

Mr Radonski, 40, a former governor of Miranda state, ended his campaign with a huge rally in the north-western city of Barquisimeto, in Lara state.

Mr Capriles criticised the government's handling of the economy and promised to build schools, roads and create jobs.

"Fourteen years is enough, 20 is too much," he said, adding that the government of Mr Chavez had run out of energy.

Mr Chavez finished treatment for cancer less than six months ago and has reassured supporters that he is cured and fit to serve out his term.