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Acting Venezuelan President Maduro registers his candidacy

To the cheers of thousands of supporters, acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro officially registered his candidacy today for the upcoming elections.

The 50-year-old arrived to the National Electoral Council driving his own bus to register his candidacy.

Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro talks to supporters today. Credit: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

"I am going to accomplish his orders (referring to Chavez) with the biggest love that he cultivated in our hearts. I am not Chavez, but I am his son and together with the people, we are Chavez," Maduro said after registering his candidacy.

Both Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles have begun Venezuela's election race with scathing personal attacks on one another.

Maduro has registered as a candidate in the upcoming April presidential elections. Credit: REUTERS/Marco Bello

Maduro, who was sworn in as acting president after Chavez succumbed to cancer last week, is seen as the favourite to win the April 14 election, bolstered by an oil-financed state apparatus and a wave of public sympathy over Chavez's death.

Thousands of people lined the streets in Venezuela today. Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Venezuelan opposition leader to challenge for presidency

Henrique Capriles, Venezuela's opposition leader and governor of the state of Miranda, addresses media. Credit: Reuters

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles said he will challenge the late Hugo Chavez's preferred successor for the presidency of the South American OPEC nation next month, setting the stage for a bitter campaign.

Capriles, a 40-year-old state governor, will face election favourite and acting President Nicolas Maduro. The pair have until Monday to register their candidacies for the vote on April 14th.

The election will decide whether Chavez's self-styled socialist and nationalist revolution will live on in the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

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Venezuela's opposition leader 'to run for president'

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles will run for president in Venezuela's April election and is expected to formally announce the decision later today, two sources in his camp said.

Henrique Capriles, Venezuela's opposition leader and governor of the state of Miranda. Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

"There's a lot of negativity around, it's going to be tough, but we're going to do it", one of the sources told Reuters.

"Henrique's made his decision. He's not backing down."

Venezuela's acting president calls for snap election

Nicolas Maduro received the presidential sash from National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Acting Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has asked the country's election authority to call a vote immediately.

Officials are expected to announce the election date on Saturday as the South American country appoints a permanent successor to Hugo Chavez.

Mr Maduro, meanwhile, also named the late president's son-in-law Jorge Arreaza as his vice president during his time as interim leader.

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Venezuela's interim president begins with fist pump

Nicolas Maduro has raised his fist to his supporters after being controversially sworn in as Venezuela's interim president. Credit: RTV/VTV
Mr Maduro has taken the acting role despite objections from opposition leaders, who claimed the ceremony is unconstitutional. Credit: RTV/VTV
The interim leader had considerable support at the ceremony in Caracas though. Credit: RTV/VTV

Venezuela says 'goodbye' to President Hugo Chavez

With the queues to see Hugo Chavez's body still snaking through the capital, Venezuala said goodbye to the man who has dominated politics in the country for decades.

Some 30 head of state from around the world were among the mourners at his state funeral; many of them visibly emotional.

ITV News' International Editor Bill Neely reports from Caracas:

President Hugo Chavez's final act goes on and on

More than two million Venezuelans have filed past the open casket of their dead president Hugo Chavez in the last two days.

Such is the demand to pay tribute that plans for a burial have been eschewed in favour of a simple ceremony, and the announcement that Chavez's body will be displayed permanently.

ITV News International Editor Bill Neely reports from Caracas:

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