Logistical preparations set for Venezuelan election monitors
QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his rival Henrique Capriles are satisfied with logistical preparations ahead of the arrival of election monitors from the Union of South American Nations, the group said yesterday.
Unasur, which held days of meetings to get ready for the observer mission, will oversee the country's October 7 presidential vote in which socialist and leftist firebrand Chavez, 58, is seeking a third six-year term. Polls place him ahead of centre-left Capriles.
The participating monitors will be from Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana and Peru, Unasur said.
The US-based Organisation of American States was for decades the source of monitors for Venezuela's elections.
But Chavez, a staunch critic of the United States, rejects OAS observers since the group supported the man who tried to oust him from power in a failed 2002 coup bid.
Venezuela is highly polarised between the two camps and earlier this month the Carter Center, a human rights organisation founded by former US president Jimmy Carter, urged the two candidates to ease tensions so as to avert post-election violence.