Rumors have speculated about his health and some media have claimed he wouldn’t make it to the elections, therefore choosing a successor. Yet the Venezuelan President, headstrong to beat his greatest obstacle –cancer– has confirmed he will personally enroll his candidacy at the National Elections Council and make public his government plan for the next six years.
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez plans to register in person with election authorities next week and make his re-election bid official, his campaign chief said Wednesday.
“I am certain that an immense sea of people will mobilize…for the registration of President Chavez”, said campaign head Jorge Rodriguez during a televised press conference. Mr. Chavez, 57 years old, is slated to visit Venezuela’s National Electoral Council on June 11, the deadline to register, Mr. Rodriguez said.
The incumbent’s opponent in the Oct. 7 vote, Henrique Capriles Radonski, is scheduled to formalize his candidacy a day earlier. Chavez carries a solid double digit lead over Capriles Radonski according to the latest polls conducted by a spectrum of polling companies.
While the current Venezuelan President has yet to begin his campaign, and his opponent has been on the streets for several months, recent surveys show Chavez with a minimum 54% of the vote and a 60%+ approval rating. Capriles Radonski’s numbers have yet to reach 30%.
The event Monday will be a major kick-off for President Chavez’s re-election campaign, since the Venezuelan head of state has been recovering from cancer treatment that began one year ago and has held few public events during that time.
Speculations and rumors about his health abound, and foreign and opposition interests have banked on Chavez opting out of the presidential race, though he has verbally reaffirmed his candidacy for several months.