Capriles pledges to keep fighting President Chavez

By Jonathan Gilbert, October 19, 2012
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Lost by 1.5 million votes: Capriles (Photo: AP)

Lost by 1.5 million votes: Capriles (Photo: AP)

Henrique Capriles, the defeated candidate in last week’s Venezuelan presidential elections, has insisted he will continue his fight against socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.

Mr Capriles, the grandson of Jewish immigrants, will run for governor of Miranda, one of the South American country’s most important states, in December.

He lost to Mr Chavez by 1.5 million votes, but succeeded in uniting a disjointed opposition and gave the president, who referred to him as a “pig” during the campaign, the closest fight of his 14-year reign.

Mr Capriles, whose great grandparents died in Treblinka, had promised to end Venezuela’s cosy relationship with Iran as one of his election pledges.

Mr Capriles had to leave the governorship of Miranda to run for president, but will now look to reinforce his position as Mr Chavez’s political adversary by getting back into office.

“I’m still standing,” Mr Capriles said. “We’ve lost one game but we’re already thinking about the next one.”

His next chance to defeat Mr Chavez would be in 2018, but the fiery president has recently been ill with cancer. Mr Capriles could run before that if Mr Chavez suffers a relapse and is forced to leave office.

Last updated: 12:45pm, October 19 2012