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5 candidates to vie in Venezuelan presidential elections

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Five candidates, including incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, will compete in Venezuela's presidential elections on May 20, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Tuesday.

Following the registration deadline, CNE President Socorro Hernandez released the candidates' names in an interview with a local radio station.

Maduro will be running for re-election as the candidate of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Former Lara State Governor Henri Falcon, an ex-Chavista (a follower of former President Hugo Chavez) opposed to Maduro's administration, will run as the candidate of the Progressive Advance and Movement Towards Socialism parties.

The three remaining candidates are Reinaldo Quijada, an electrical engineer also opposed to Maduro but in favor of the Bolivarian reforms, who is backed by the People's Political Unit 89; Javier Bertucci, a 48-year-old evangelical preacher nominated by the Hope for Change movement; and Luis Alejandro Ratti, the only one out of 14 independent candidates that meets the CNE's requisitions.

Voters will also be able to choose the members of regional and local legislative bodies on May 20, and those candidates will be able to register online in mid-March, said Hernandez.

Each step of the election process is audited by members of different political parties, and international observers will also be present at the polls.

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