Venezuela’s opposition, also known as the Democratic Unity, will boycott the presidential elections on April 22 based on fraudulent and illegitimate counts. The announcement arrived in response to President Nicolas Maduro calling a snap legislative election. The “initiative” would ask the Constituent Assembly to hold general elections or a “mega-election” as he calls it, one that would also cut the current congressional term by two years. The sudden proposed ballot would come with a list of add-on congressional elections, state legislators and municipal councils.
“[It] is just a show by the government to give an impression of legitimacy that it does not have,” said the opposition. “In the name of the immense majority of Venezuelans, we challenge the Maduro government to measure itself against the people in real elections,” President Maduro said in an Al Jazeera interview.
“Let’s go to powerful elections for a democratic renovation of the country, clearing the road for the rest of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022,” Maduro said in a Bloomberg interview. “So we can dedicate ourselves entirely to the work of economic prosperity.”
The National Constituent Assembly is considered a rubber stamp that runs on self-owned initiatives such as taking away power from congress through control of the courts. In a series of meetings in the Dominican Republic the opposition has tried to negotiate its way out earlier last month. Today it invites the presence of international observers (during the elections), dropping a ban on major opposition candidates (many which are jailed, in exile or barred from holding office) and proposes that it take place during the second quarter of 2018.
President Maduro’s only opponent is Evangelical Pastor Javier Bertucci who announced his candidacy on Sunday. However, Venezuela’s democracy outcry is energized only by a dim light of hope. Pollster Venebarometro shows that more than 62% percent don’t support any of the opposition names in the role of president.
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