Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez carried out the first step of registering his candidacy for October presidential elections via the Internet yesterday, an electoral official said.
Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski also registered by Internet yesterday and all candidates must present documents to the council before June 11, electoral council head Tibisay Lucena said in comments broadcast on state television. Three other candidates also registered, Lucena said, without providing names.
Chavez is trying to extend his 13 years in power with another six-year term while battling cancer. He has undergone three operations to remove two tumors in his pelvic area since June. His refusal to reveal a prognosis or the exact location and type of his cancer has fueled speculation he may not be healthy enough to campaign.
Capriles announced plans to organize a march through the capital, Caracas, on June 10 that will culminate in him presenting his documents to the three-person electoral board headed by Lucena. Chavez, who hasn’t been seen outside the presidential palace in public appearances since returning from his last session of radiation therapy in Cuba on May 11, will register his candidacy “in the coming days,” Vice President Elias Jaua said yesterday, without providing details.
Capriles’ campaign is the only one that has informed the electoral council how it plans to register, Lucena said.
Chavez downloaded the registry form from the Internet and hasn’t formally put himself forward as his party’s candidate, Francisco Ameliach, head of the technical commission for Chavez’s campaign said in comments carried on state television yesterday.
Chavez widened his lead over Capriles to 17 percentage points, according to a survey by Caracas-based Datanalisis. Chavez had 43 percent of voter preferences compared with 26 percent for Capriles, according to the poll taken between April 9 and 18. The poll of 1,300 people had a margin of error of 2.73 percentage points.
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