Venezuela elections: key facts you need to know about the vote

How much power does Nicolás Maduro have?

Venezuela’s president is seeking another six-year term, following the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013.

Polls show he is most popular among his red-shirted supporters, but there are concerns about voter apathy, and that many opponents have been barred from running.

The main opposition, which boycotted the 2014 vote, is boycotting this year’s vote.

The state controlled electoral council has refused to register opposition candidates, after a constitutional amendment gave the council increasing powers.

Maduro himself has refused to relinquish the presidency.

Under the political system, the current vice-president, Tareck El Aissami, would take over from Maduro if he were to resign or die in office.

What is President Maduro’s main domestic and foreign policy issue?

Though corruption and poverty are endemic, the oil-rich country of 32 million faces greater problems than other economies. The lowest oil prices since the 1970s mean it is struggling to cover food imports, while the economy is shrinking by more than 3% a year.

Maduro has been coping largely by blaming “economic war” by the opposition, the US and speculators in the global financial system. His government has seen considerable support from Russia, China and Iran.

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