CARACAS, October 7 (RIA Novosti)
Venezuela is holding presidential election on Sunday with seven candidates running to head the country for the term of the next six years.
Although a total of seven candidates are participating in the election, there are only two favorites to win the race, who are incumbent President Hugo Chavez and opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
Almost 19 million people are expected to cast their votes at over 13,600 polling stations across the country, which open at 6:00 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. GMT).
In the run up to the election, ruling authorities stated that radical oppositionists allegedly plan to stage mass disorders, while the opposition accused the authorities of their plans not to recognize the possible victory of Capriles.
Security measures have been tightened up and starting on Friday and until Monday all sales of alcoholic beverages were prohibited in Venezuela as well as any possession of guns except for police, military and special service forces. Some 139,000 military personnel will be providing security on Sunday.
The presidential campaign kicked off in Venezuela on July 1. Chavez, who underwent three cancer operations in Cuba over the last year, is seeking reelection for a third six-year term.
Last month, Capriles, 40, said the socialist leader is more interested in promoting his self-styled revolution around the world than in addressing power cuts, unemployment and high crime rates in the country.
Chavez, 58, said in early September he was convinced he would gain 70 percent of the vote at the October 7 presidential election. He cited statistics - 56 percent of votes cast for him at the 1998 election and 63 percent at the 2006 polls.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).