Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has launched his re-election bid with a huge rally in front of tens of thousands of supporters in the capital Caracas.
Despite health scares and 13 years in power, the 57-year-old wants six more years as leader.
Chavez, who had kept a low profile after receiving treatment for cancer in Cuba, treated the party faithful to a nearly three-hour speech.
Dressed in trademark red beret and colours of the Venezuelan flag, he promised to win the October 7 election by a knockout.
His rival Henrique Capriles, registered his election bid with authorities on Sunday with a 10 kilometre march alongside hundreds of thousands of supporters the day before.
The 39-year-old was keen to show his physical fitness in contrast to the recovering Chavez. Capriles aims to replace Venezuela’s state driven Socialism with a more capitalist model.
Despite his health problems, most opinion polls put Chavez in the lead by double digits.