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MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuela will hold a presidential election to elect a successor to late Hugo Chavez on April 14, the country’s electoral council said following an extraordinary meeting on Saturday.
The council met on an order from Nicolas Maduro, who was vice president under Chavez. Maduro instructed it with setting the date for the vote after being sworn in as acting president on Friday.
Chavez named Maduro as his successor before undergoing the latest surgery in December. Chavez died on Tuesday at the age of 58 after a two-year-long fight against cancer. He had led Venezuela for 14 years.
The Venezuelan opposition earlier called Maduro’s inauguration “fraudulent” as it argued that under the constitution the National Assembly speaker should be the one to take over as acting president. However, Venezuela's Supreme Court ruled Friday that Maduro’s swearing-in would be legitimate.
The inauguration ceremony for Maduro was held hours after Chavez’s state funeral, which was attended by over 30 heads of state and government, including Cuban President Raul Castro, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
Maduro will run as the candidate from the ruling party. Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles will be the opposition’s candidate. Maduro is likely to win the vote, according to opinion polls.
Chavez had defeated Capriles in October’s presidential election.
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