CARACAS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's incumbent President Hugo Chavez, who represents the ruling Great Patriotic Pole coalition, voted in the country's presidential election on Sunday, battling against Henrique Capriles from the opposition Roundtable for Democratic Unity.
Chavez promotes a policy he calls "21st century socialism" which pursues greater state control of the economy. His supporters say Capriles' "progressive" goals would undo the ruling party's intervention on behalf of the poor.
Chavez, accompanied by Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Vice President Elias Jaua, cast his vote at the Manuel Palcios Fajardo High School in the center of Caracas, which is a rough neighborhood home to middle- and lower-income citizens.
After voting, Chavez talked to the press about the evolution of democracy in Latin America, saying the election was to be celebrated as it shows "Venezuela will continue its path of growth and greatness."
He also called on the people to respect the election process, which former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in his capacity as observer, has in the past described as one of the best in the world.
"We will recognize, back and promote the voice of the nation," said Chavez, reaffirming the ruling party's pledge to respect the outcome to be announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE).
"Have no doubt that we will recognize the results no matter what they are, whoever wants to see a solid, mature and vigorous and open democracy, let him come to Venezuela," said Chavez.
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