Venezuela opposition to boycott


CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition coalition said on Wednesday it could not participate in a “fraudulent, illegitimate” presidential election on April 22 due to unfair conditions created by President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

The widely expected announcement by the Democratic Unity movement leaves Maduro, 55, on track for re-election but is likely to fuel widespread international condemnation of democratic shortcomings in the socialist-ruled OPEC nation.

Maduro’s two strongest opposition rivals are both barred from running against him: Leopoldo Lopez is under house arrest, while Henrique Capriles is prohibited from holding office due to accusations of misconduct when he was a state governor.

Furthermore, the pro-government national election board already banned the Democratic Unity coalition, plus some of its main parties, from running under their party names.

“The premature event announced for next April 22 lacking proper conditions is a show by the government to give an impression of legitimacy that it does not have in the midst of Venezuelans’ agony and suffering,” the coalition said in a statement, referring to the country’s economic crisis.

Angel Oropeza, member of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD), talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas, Venezuela February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Adriana Loureiro

“In the name of the immense majority of Venezuelans, we challenge the Maduro government to measure itself against the people in real elections” later in 2018, it added.

The Democratic Unity’s decision leaves Maduro facing just one confirmed candidate so far: a little-known evangelical pastor named Javier Bertucci.

Another likely candidate, however, is opposition leader Henri Falcon, a former state governor who parted with the socialists in 2010. He has expressed his desire to run against Maduro and may break with the coalition decision to boycott the vote.

Falcon’s candidacy will likely infuriate Maduro’s adversaries, many of whom see him as a Trojan horse seeking to help Maduro legitimize a rigged vote.

Maduro has faced calls in Latin America and internationally to improve conditions for the vote, with the United States pondering oil sanctions to pressure him.

Venezuela’s government says it is the victim of a U.S.-led, right-wing plot to topple socialism and take control of the nation’s oil riches.

Reporting by Corina Pons and Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Angus Berwick, Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman

Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Freestyle skiing: Korean moguls skiers banned for sexual harassment
Volkswagen brand says profitability drive faces climate cost risks
U.S. court upholds most of Texas law to punish
Venezuela begins power rationing as drought causes severe outages
U.S. Powerball jackpot climbs to $455 million for Saturday drawing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *