Q&A: Venezuela's presidential election
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1904 GMT (0304 HKT)
- Maduro, Capriles will square off in Sunday's presidential vote
- The election comes less than six weeks after the death of Chavez
- More than 18.9 million Venezuelans are registered to vote
- The economy and crime are key issues at stake
(CNN) -- Less than six weeks after President Hugo Chavez's death, Venezuelans will head to the polls Sunday to pick a new leader.
It will be the second time in just over six months that voters in the south American country have cast ballots in a presidential election.
Chavez, who ruled Venezuela for 14 years, celebrated a triumphant re-election victory in October. After his death on March 5, authorities announced new elections to select his successor.
Who's running to replace Chavez?
Nicolas Maduro, 50, is a candidate for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Henrique Capriles Radonski, 40, represents a coalition of opposition parties.
Maduro started his career as a bus driver in Caracas, rose through the ranks as a union leader and eventually became part of Chavez's inner circle. He has been the interim leader since Chavez's death, and served as vice president and foreign minister in his administration.
Army Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, who led a 1992 attempted coup, speaks to reporters on March 26, 1994, after he was freed from jail. Chavez was freed after charges were dropped against him for leading the first of two attempted coups against the government of former President Carlos Andres Perez, who was later removed from office.
Photos: Political career of Hugo Chavez
The race to replace Hugo Chavez
Adiós a Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chavez's legacy
Capriles is the former governor of Miranda state. He lost to Chavez in October's presidential vote, coming within 10 percentage points of the longtime leader. It was a significant gap, but the closest any opposition candidate ever came to defeating Chavez during his rule.
Maduro has pledged to continue Chavez's plan to build "21st century socialism." Capriles says he pushing a more moderate approach, promising to continue social programs and improve the country's economy.
READ MORE: Maduro: From bus driver to presidential candidate
READ MORE: Capriles' second chance to defeat 'Chavismo'
What are the key issues at stake?
Crime, inflation and food shortages are key problems on the minds of many in the nation. But heated rhetoric on the campaign trail has focused more on personal attacks between the candidates and sparring over the legacy of Chavez.
No matter who wins, the question of what will happen in Venezuela without Chavez at the helm looms large over the elections.
How many people are expected to cast ballots?
More than 18.9 million Venezuelans are registered to vote in the presidential election.
Venezuela's National Electoral Council estimates that more than 100,000 Venezuelans will vote abroad at diplomatic offices in 88 countries. There are more than 37,681 Venezuelans registered to vote in the United States, according to government figures.
Who will be watching?
In addition to representatives from national organizations serving as observers, Venezuela's National Electoral Council says 170 foreigners have been invited to witness the elections. The international group includes delegations from the Union of South American Nations and the Atlanta-based Carter Center.
READ MORE: Chavez's impact on Venezuela lauded at funeral
READ MORE: What's next? Chavez's death leaves many questions
READ MORE: Hugo Chavez's death draws sympathy, anger
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1904 GMT (0304 HKT)
Less than six weeks after President Hugo Chavez's death, Venezuelans will head to the polls Sunday to pick a new leader.
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
The poor, usually marginalized by Latin American politicians, became Chavez's main weapon.
March 14, 2013 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)
The plan to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have hit a snag.
March 9, 2013 -- Updated 0331 GMT (1131 HKT)
The body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is the latest in a long line of world leaders whose remains have been embalmed and displayed.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1038 GMT (1838 HKT)
Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a "21st century socialist" and foe of the United States, died Tuesday.
What is your reaction to President Chavez's death? How do you think it will affect Venezuela's politics? How does is affect your country?
March 5, 2013 -- Updated 2307 GMT (0707 HKT)
CNN's Rafael Romo looks back at the life of recently deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1907 GMT (0307 HKT)
Venezuela has been transformed while Chavez was in office. Browse through the picture to explore his legacy.
March 5, 2013 -- Updated 2156 GMT (0556 HKT)
A look back and the life and legacy of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. CNN's Jim Clancy reports.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
Hugo Chavez played key role in focusing attention on the poor. But Frida Ghitis says in the process of helping the poor, he undermined the democracy.
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1338 GMT (2138 HKT)
Jesse Jackson: Chavez's death an opportunity for U.S. and Venezuela to heal relations.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
The death of the charismatic but controversial leader leaves many unanswered questions that Venezuela and the world must now grapple with.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sings with CNN's Larry King prior to his 2009 interview.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
News of Chavez's death drew impassioned reactions from around the world, as leaders and other public figures weighed in on his legacy.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 0724 GMT (1524 HKT)
CNN looks back at some of the more memorable things President Hugo Chavez said during his life -- like calling George Bush the devil.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
He began his career as a bus driver, then rose through the ranks to become a member of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's inner circle.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 0753 GMT (1553 HKT)
Chavez will be remembered for improving the wealth and political participation of the poor. But his death leaves an economy in tatters, some say.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
Kevin Spacey, Naomi Campbell, Diego Maradona. Browse through the pictures of Hollywood icons and global superstars that met Chavez.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
Chavez cultivated a larger-than-life appearance. But even after years in office, his legacy may be more fleeting than his outsize personality suggested.
March 5, 2013 -- Updated 2240 GMT (0640 HKT)
Watch: In a 2009 interview, Larry King talks to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez about Obama and Venezeula's global role.
Get the latest news, analysis, commentaries and videos from Venezuela in Spanish language on CNN Español.