9 Apr 2013

Non-supporters cursed by acting president

1:54 pm on 9 April 2013

Acting President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has put a curse on citizens who do not vote for him in an election this weekend.

He likened his main rival candidate, Henrique Capriles, to Spanish conquerors fighting indigenous people in the 16th Century.

"If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Maracapana is falling on him," he said

Mr Maduro was referring to a 16th Century battle.

The BBC reports Mr Capriles responded by saying the only curse for Venezuelans would be if Mr Maduro won the election.

Venezuela goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a successor to Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month.

Opinion polls suggest Mr Maduro, who was Mr Chavez's deputy, has a lead of at least 10 points over Mr Capriles. Five other candidates trail far behind them.