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Chavez scoffs at debate with presidential rival

20 june 2012, 14:34
0
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. ©AFP
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. ©AFP
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday scoffed at the idea of a debate with rival Henrique Capriles ahead of elections this autumn, dismissing his opponent as unworthy, AFP reports.

"A debate? with whom?" said Chavez, 57, after being asked whether he would debate Capriles, 39, his center-left opponent in the October 7 presidential poll.

"I would be really embarrassed in one of those things, because there is nothing there" to debate, Chavez said, likening himself to a world-class boxer and his opponent to a third-rate amateur.

In Capriles, he said, "There is nothing there, nothing to debate. There are no ideas. There is nothing there."

"Let the big debate be held in the streets, in people's homes, and in their communities. The rest is just nothing," added Chavez.

Chavez registered last week as a candidate for reelection despite a year-long battle with cancer and uncertainties about his health.

If he were to be reelected and serve out his term through 2019, Chavez would end up spending 20 years in office.

Capriles, center-left candidate for a united opposition, is the youthful governor of the state of Miranda. He has laid out a policy platform focused on combating violence, creating jobs and boosting social programs.

Chavez has been leading in the polls by between seven to 30 points, but with 35 percent of voters undecided.

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