Voters in Venezuela are preparing to cast their ballots in regional elections.
Sunday's vote is being seen as a vital test for both President Hugo Chavez and the opposition.
It comes as Chavez recovers in Cuba after his fourth cancer operation. Following the most recent procedure, Chavez named Nicolas Maduro, currently the foreign minister, as his successor to lead his party.
Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher reports from Caracas.