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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 November 2006, 01:49 GMT
Opposition rallies in Venezuela
Rosales supporters march in Caracas
Huge crowds marched to support Rosales
The opposition candidate in Venezuela's presidential elections has held a huge rally in the capital, Caracas, a week before the vote.

Several hundred thousand turned out to show support for Social Democrat Manuel Rosales, currently governor of oil-rich state of Zulia.

However President Hugo Chavez is widely predicted to be heading for victory and a third term in office.

On Sunday, his supporters plan to hold their own rally in Caracas.

The BBC's Greg Morsbach in Caracas says that Mr Rosales has been gaining in popularity.

Addressing the crowds, the challenger predicted that "the real survey, not the ones that have been bought, show that within a few days Venezuela will have a new president".

Manuel Rosales
Rosales' chances are not reckoned to be good

He said that people wanted "modernity" and not what he called the "Cubanization of Venezuela" under the left-wing President Chavez.

Mr Rosales said that the president's policies were creating "a new rich and more poor people... an elite that runs everything".

President Chavez is an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.


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