Venezuela Presidential Elections Set for April 22

Lucy Bush
February 11, 2018

The elections were originally scheduled for December.

The National Electoral Council announced Wednesday that the election will be held April 22.

Venezuela's ruling socialists had previously said a vote would be held before the end of April, with Maduro running despite his widespread unpopularity and a crushing economic crisis in the oil-rich nation.

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Maduro, 55, who narrowly won elections in 2013 to replace former President Hugo Chavez, is the favorite to win the presidential vote.

He highlighted the recent achievements of the Venezuelan Government in the elections for the Constituent Assembly and the municipal and regional elections, as well as its policy of dialogue with the opposition, with foreign observers.

Opposition leaders said the early date will benefit incumbent President Nicolás Maduro - who is the only candidate so far. "If they dare to call abstention, we will give them a historical struggle, with or without the opposition, we will triumph in the presidential elections", he said in a rally.

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Opponents say the government is rigging the election in advance by barring Maduro's strongest rivals - opposition politicians Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles - and failing to reform a company. Its two most popular leaders are... We hope that on this occasion the Venezuelan opposition delegation will reach the Dominican Republic, and have the capacity for dialogue, negotiation and understanding.

Medina said Maduro had expressed "the desire to continue dialogue", but the opposition delegation "did not understand" that the signing of the final peace agreement would take place on February 6 while the Venezuelan government did come to the meeting with the intention of signing the document in the presence of worldwide observers.

During meetings with government delegates in the Dominican Republic, opposition leaders had been pushing for the election to be held in June - and for the electoral council to be staffed with neutral officials. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

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