Venezuela's Chavez accuses allies of dividing coalition ahead of elections

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez angrily accused political allies of dividing his pro-government coalition ahead of regional elections, saying Sunday that some dissidents are questioning his leadership. Infighting is weakening the Patriotic Alliance - a coalition of parties that have traditionally shown near-complete allegiance to "El Comandante" - and threatens to split the pro-Chavez vote in November's gubernatorial and municipal elections. Chavez lambasted the coalition's smaller members, including Fatherland For All and Venezuela's Communist Party, for fielding candidates that could compete against hopefuls from his own ruling party for more than half of the 23 governorships up for grabs. "They talk about unity, but they're risking division," Chavez said during his weekly broadcast program. "Some of them don't recognize me as the leader. They won't say it publicly, but I know that they say it in private."