| Updated at: 1612 PST, Sunday, September 26, 2010|
CARACAS: Polls opened Sunday in Venezuela, launching crucial legislative elections seen as a key test for populist President Hugo Chavez, with the main opposition poised to make big gains.
Ceremonies marking the start of voting included military trumpet concerts -- a tradition in Venezuela, an oil power with the second-largest proven reserves of crude in the world.
Chavez, a leader among Latin-American leftists, urged Venezuelans to vote en masse.
"The future of Venezuela is in play," he told official television station VTV an hour before polls opened at 1030 GMT.