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Two main candidates address final rallies in Venezuela

Hundreds of thousands of red-clad supporters descended on Caracas last night, in a mass rally supporting Hugo Chávez ahead of the election on Sunday (9th).The two candidates in Venezuela's presidential election addressed huge crowds on the final day of campaigning.

President Hugo Chavez told tens of thousands of his supporters in Caracas that he needs a third term to consolidate social reforms.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles promises to boost economic growth and govern for all Venezuelans.

Nearly 19 million Venezuelans can vote in the tightly contested race.

President Chavez's supporters, dressed predominantly in red, filled the main avenues of the capital, Caracas, from the early hours.

"Due to the circumstances I must be brief," he said as he began his speech under heavy rain.

Mr Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, told them he needs another term to tackle poverty and inequality in the oil-rich South American country.

"In all these years, we managed to save the country and have built the foundations for the future," he said.

"In six years' time, we will be the first on health and education. In 10 years, there will be no more homeless in Venezuela," Mr Chavez promised.

If he wins the vote and finishes his term, he will have been in power for 20 consecutive years.

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