Monday, 23 July, 2018

Peru to convene meeting of Lima Group over Venezuela election

Critics believe President Nicolas Maduro is organising a rigged election to engineer a second term for himself Critics believe President Nicolas Maduro is organising a rigged election to engineer a second term for himself Credit FEDERICO PARRA AFP
Faye Gross | 11 February, 2018, 05:11

Venezuela on Wednesday set a presidential election for April 22 after mediation talks between the leftist government and an opposition coalition collapsed, setting the stage for the likely re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.

The news follows last week's confirmation that incumbent President Nicolas Maduro has been named the official candidate for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

The 55-year old former bus driver and union leader is running despite his widespread unpopularity and a devastating economic crisis that has spawned malnutrition, disease, hyperinflation and emigration.

Earlier on Wednesday, the opposition warned the government to refrain from making a "unilateral" decision about when to hold elections. Several countries, including major Latin American countries, have already said the vote will lack legitimacy.

The opposition is split on whether to put up candidates as they say the whole process is flawed.

Gunners sweating player fitness for Tottenham derby clash
Pochettino confirmed that he was anxious about the pitch, which he said "was not in a condition to play football". Pochettino is anxious about his players getting injured but said that he is anxious about Rochdale's players too.


Julio Borges, the opposition spokesman in the talks, claimed that the government did not attend a meeting yesterday and that he has not even received the proposal following the comments they submitted.

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. During hours-long events broadcast on state television, cheering red-shirted supporters sing his campaign jingle "Everyone with Maduro" while he dances salsa with first lady Cilia Flores, whom he calls the "First Combatant". He's distancing himself from former President Hugo Chavez, who died in 2013.

"We are beginning a series of meetings with political parties and opposition sectors to create a big national front representing the Venezuelan society, which stands firmly on its rights", he said in a statement cited by the Democratic Unity Roundtable party.

"Beyond severe criticism, I have the obligation to reach agreements for the peace of the country", the president reiterated.

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