CARACAS, Sunday March 10, 2013 | Update
ELECTION 2013 | He is to register his candidacy on Monday

Henrique Capriles decides to run for president in April vote

Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the executive director of opposition coalition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) had proposed Capriles to run for president

Before announcing his decision, opposition leader Henrique Capriles assessed the recent events in Venezuela (Photo: EFE)
Sunday March 10, 2013  09:07 PM
Opposition leader and governor of Miranda state Henrique Capriles on Sunday night addressed the nation to announce that he will be the presidential candidate of the opposition coalition. "Clinging to God, I will fight along with all of you. Nicolás (Maduro) I am not going to clear the way for you. We will defend our ballots, whatever it costs."

"How could we not fight?" Capriles wondered in his message to the country. He remembered the mothers who have lost their children to violence; people who have lost their jobs; the poor and those whose businesses were expropriated.

"Tomorrow we will register our nomination with the National Electoral Council (CNE)," he said. Capriles added that he will tour the country. "Let us seize this opportunity to unite. People with evil plans seek division, as they think they can keep power that way."

"Respecting the mourning for President (Hugo) Chávez, we are not convening any rally (at the headquarters of the top electoral body). We will complete the formalities. Later, we will inform who will be the head of the campaign team," he said.

His decision comes after Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, the executive director of opposition coalition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), proposed him to run for president. On Saturday, the CNE convened the presidential vote for April 14, after the death of President Chávez.

Before his announcement, Capriles assessed recent events in Venezuela. Among other things, he rejected a ruling of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), under which Vice-President Nicolás Maduro was given the status of President of Venezuela rather than vice-president in charge of the presidency, "as if he were elected by people's vote."

He reasserted his commitment to the country and the reassured Venezuelans that a better future is possible.
The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."