Chavez threatens to imprison opposition leader ahead of local elections
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is threatening to imprison a popular opposition leader, roll tanks into the streets and use force to defend the results of Sunday's state and local elections.
During a fiery speech to supporters Tuesday, Chavez threatened to shut down any television stations that broadcast early election results, and said he has ordered secret police "to keep a close eye on" ," Manuel Rosales, the opposition governor of Zulia state.
"That criminal must go to prison," Chavez thundered, noting that Rosales has been repeatedly accused of graft. "There's evidence. They are not unfounded attacks."
"He has unleashed a wave of intimidation," said Rosales.
Rosales, who has a good chance of defeating the Chavez candidate for mayor of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second-largest city, said the socialist leader "wants to wipe out and criminalize Venezuela's opposition, or those who don't think like he does, to attempt a constitutional reform allowing him to remain in power."
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