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2016 Presidential Election
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US Election Updates - September 5, 2012

Democratic National Convention opens

The Democratic Party launched its national convention on Tuesday as it set out to persuade voters to cast their ballots once again for President Barack Obama in the November 6 elections.

The chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, opened the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina with a strike of the gavel at 5pm EDT.

First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton are among those who will address the three-day event while Republican candidate Mitt Romney is expected to spend the time preparing for a series of televised debates with Obama.

The First Lady headlined the first evening with her address highlighting the president's character and attributes as a father and husband.

Her remarks were inevitably compared to those made by Ann Romney, who delivered a flattering tribute to her husband last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will miss the convention for the first time in more than 40 years due to ethical guidelines that prevent cabinet heads from taking part in political activities.

The Democratic convention will see Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden formally re-nominated as the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Wednesday.

The convention ends on Thursday with speeches from both Obama and Biden.