Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski march in Caracas
Thousands of Venezuelans marched in the streets of the capital to show support for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles as he formally registered to run against President Hugo Chavez, reports AFP.
"I'm happy that I'll be walking these 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of joy, hope, life, and faith," Capriles said as he led the first major rally of his campaign to remove Chavez from office.
His march through the city ended at the headquarters of the National Electoral Council, where Capriles entered his candidacy for the October polls.
"On October 7, we are not going to choose between two men," Capriles said. "We are going to choose between two ways of life. On October 7, we are going to choose between a present that is stagnant, violent and has no opportunities, and those of us who believe the country holds a future of progress for all of us."
The opposition candidate, whose athletic physique starkly contrasts with Chavez, who has had cancer and has been in treatment for over a year, was dressed in the colors of the national football team and wore a cap in the colors of the national flag.
The crowd cheered him on, whistling, hoisting banners and wearing campaign t-shirts.
"I want to build a Venezuela for all Venezuelans. I aspire to become the president of all Venezuelans," Capriles told cheering supporters before starting his march.
He laid out a policy platform focused on combating violence, creating jobs and boosting social programs.
The registration was mostly a formality, as opposition supporters already backed Capriles as their candidate during February primaries.
Capriles left his post as governor of the northern state of Miranda earlier this month to meet a statutory requirement to pursue his candidacy.
"This rally is busier than usual, there are very good vibes... I hope Capriles can reconcile us all and rule us as a single country," said engineer Achilles Rodriguez, who joined the march in the east of Caracas.
Rafael, a 52-year-old economist who did not give his last name, was confident that Capriles would win.
"Capriles is going to be president. But change will come little by little, until he has undone all the bad things Chavez did," he said.
Chavez, 57, said Saturday that he feels "quite fit" after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his cancer.