Caracas: Venezuela’s cancer stricken President Hugo Chavez has filed the formal paperwork declaring his re-election bid amid growing concerns over his health. Thousands of his supporters
packed a plaza outside the election authority headquarters in Venezuela`s capital as he registered to run for re-election.
Wearing his trademark red beret, Chavez rode into the crowds atop a truck. He smiled broadly and blew kisses.
State-run VTV showed Chavez supporters wearing red shirts, cheering as they waved banners and flags.
Since Chavez first announced his cancer diagnosis nearly a year ago, speculation has surged over the 57-year-old Venezuelan leader`s health and political future.
But the President and his supporters have maintained that his battle against cancer has only strengthened his resolve to win the October 7 presidential vote.
In May, the 57-year-old Chavez -- who has been in power since 1999 -- sought treatment in Cuba, his closest regional ally, after a recurrence of the cancer which he first disclosed last year.
The Venezuelan government has disclosed few details about Chavez`s health, leading to intense speculation over the political future of Latin America`s most prominent leftist leader, who is seeking reelection on October 7.
Chavez seems keen to quash any speculation that he might not be healthy enough to run again for office.
On Saturday, the President said that he feels "quite fit" after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his cancer.
On Sunday, thousands of Venezuelans marched in the streets of the capital to show support for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, 39, as he formally registered to take on Chavez.
With Agency Input