Venezuelan President will run for re-election in 2018

Cheryl Sanders
January 24, 2018

"A government that is a product of force or an electoral trap can not survive at an worldwide level", Henry Ramos Allup, a prominent opposition leader and member of the National Assembly, said on Twitter.

Despite worsening food shortages that have the oil-rich country teetering on a humanitarian crisis, Mr.

CARACAS-Venezuela will hold presidential elections before the end of April, the government said Tuesday, as President Nicolás Maduro looks to consolidate power amid a punishing economic crisis and escalating global sanctions against his administration. And President Nicolas Maduro said he will seek a second term.

Critics from opposition politicians to Western powers doubt authorities will allow a free and fair vote, given the barring of some opposition figures from running plus abuse of state resources in campaigning.

While Venezuelans had been expecting an early election, the announcement came as somewhat of a surprise because talks between the opposition and government have been taking place in the Dominican Republic for weeks - so far without a breakthrough.

The European Union announced sanctions against Venezuela Monday, targeting seven senior Maduro administration officials with asset freezes and travel bans.

"These are not elections, it's a military occupation with a fraudulent election board", said hardline opposition activist Maria Corina Machado, referring to the armed forces' major role in government and the board's past pro-Maduro stance.

"We demand that presidential elections be held with adequate lead time", the so-called Lima Group said in a joint statement, adding that all political actors and independent global observers must be allowed to take part.

Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, is prohibited from holding office over allegations of "administrative irregularities".

Asked if it would be good for Venezuela if Maduro ran again, as he has expressed a willingness to do, Nauert told reporters: "That is news to me".

"President Barack Obama ... has personally chose to take on the task of defeating my government and intervening in Venezuela to control it", Maduro said in a televised address.

Opposition leader and twice-presidential candidate Henrique Capriles told Reuters the sanctions were a problem for a corrupt elite in the Maduro government, but not ordinary Venezuelans.

In an article for the website Supuesto Negado, sociologist Ociel Lopez concluded after analyzing the results on the three elections held in Venezuela in 2017 that "a coherent opposition with an outsider candidate who channels discontent like the opposition did in 2015 has a big chance of winning the 2018 presidential election". He is on many people's lips as a 2018 presidential candidate, and he has done well in at least one public opinion poll.

Other reports by iNewsToday