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Venezuelan Electoral Body Sets Presidential Election Date

Venezuelan Electoral Body Sets Presidential Election Date

President Nicolas Maduro has already launched his campaign for a second term and stands as the only candidate.

The Venezuelan government and the opposition had carried out a new round of talks in Santo Domingo after it was announced that presidential elections would be brought forward to April.

The 2018 elections were originally scheduled to take place in December, but the ruling socialist party is eager to hold the elections as soon as possible, sensing its current advantage over a divided and weak opposition.

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

"Victory is ours!" said Maduro in the televised broadcast, during which he danced and embraced supporters.

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Venezuela has announced a snap presidential election, which may secure another six-year term for Nicolás Maduro, despite him having overseen the steepest recession in the country's history.

Former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero confirmed on February 7 that an agreement, which included details on electoral dates, observers and guarantees, the economic situation and a truth commission was on the table, but that the opposition delegation headed by opposition legislator Julio Borges "raised the need to provide observations", while the government was ready to sign the document. And the Venezuelan opposition is divided into several different factions.

During talks in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic, the opposition lobbied for the vote to be held in June to give it time to choose a candidate, as its top two leaders are barred from running.

Venezuelan government representatives have accused the United States of attempting to "sabotage" the talks, claiming that the opposition was receiving instructions from the U.S. administration.

Opposition activists say Maduro's focus on campaign aesthetics show he is an uncaring tyrant vying to amass power even if it risks pushing Venezuela into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

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