With 10 days to go until elections in Venezuela, acting President Nicolas Maduro is the most likely to win. Polls give him a lead of around eight percent.
The favoured successor of recently-deceased president Hugo Chavez, Maduro has pledged to win in the former president’s honour.
Accusing the opposition of being behind power cuts in Caracas and Aragua state, Maduro said: “They are organising a general blackout in the country, these reckless right-wingers. If that were to happen, I will respond in a responsible manner by calling on the national armed forces and the people to the street, to resist, to fight.”
Meeting supporters on Margarita Island in the east of the country, opposition leader Henrique Capriles said the government would fall and criticised corruption and cronyism by supporters of Chavez – known as Chavistas.
“Every act of corruption by this government should give us more strength to fight,” Capriles told the crowd.
Many feel Maduro is capitalising on the popularity of Chavez, but worry he will not be able to keep the different factions in the Socialist party together, which could weaken the government even if he does become president.