Venezuela Opposition to Boycott Elections

Lilian Tintori with Venezuelan Flag during protest in 2014
Lilian Tintori with Venezuelan Flag during protest in 2014

The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called a snap legislative election to be held on April 22.

President Maduro said to ensure a “comprehensive renovation” the general election should include parliament, state council, and municipal bodies.

In late January, the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela voted for a Presidential election to bring forward. Maduro announced the election date on Wednesday to coincide with the presidential poll.

The Opposition to Boycott

The opposition Democratic Unity movement has announced to boycott the snap election to be held on April 22. The Venezuelan opposition said it will participant a Presidential election which is “fraudulent and illegitimate”.

The said the proposed election was a ‘premature’ one and it lacked ‘proper conditions’.

“It is just a show by the government to give an impression of legitimacy that it does not have,” it said.

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

The announcement of elections came after a dialogue between the government and the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) broke down as it failed to negotiate for an election date to be held at a later date.

“We implore the government not to commit the absurd mistake of calling elections unilaterally,” tweeted opposition delegate Julio Borges.

The U.S. Supports Opposition’s Boycott

The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement, “The United States denounces the decision by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council to unilaterally advance presidential elections without guarantees to ensure free, fair, and internationally-validated elections.”

“We support the decision by opposition parties to reject the regime’s terms for elections that would not be free and fair. The Venezuelan government’s unwillingness to negotiate in good faith prevents an agreement to achieve credible elections.

“It is unfortunate the Maduro regime is not courageous enough to contest elections on a level playing field,” the statement added.

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