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Polls open in Venezuela's elections

Updated: 2013-04-14 21:39
( Xinhua)

CARACAS - Venezuelans went to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president to succeed late President Hugo Chavez, who died last month of cancer.

Some 18.9 million voters will cast their ballots in 13,810 polling stations, which opened at 6:00 am local time (1030 GMT) and will close at 6:00 pm. (2230 GMT).

More than 3,000 domestic and 240 international observers are monitoring the polls pitting acting President Nicolas Maduro against his arch rival - opposition leader Henrique Capriles. The final results are expected later at night.

Under Venezuela's constitution, a candidate who garners the largest number of votes wins the one-round voting. The president may serve consecutive six-year terms.

Opinion polls show that Maduro, Chavez's hand-picked successor, has a sizeable lead over Capriles.