Venezuela Sets Presidential Vote For April 22 After Talks Crumble
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, Reuters reports.
Venezuela’s ruling socialists had previously said a vote would be held before the end of April, with Maduro running despite his widespread unpopularity and a crushing economic crisis in the oil-rich nation.
During talks in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic, the opposition lobbied for the vote to be held later this year to give it time to choose a candidate, as its top two leaders are barred from running.
But talks between the bitter foes crumbled on Wednesday, and the pro-government electoral board announced the April 22 election date that night.
A raft of nations, including neighboring Colombia, have already said they would not recognize the election plagued with criticism over unfair use of state resources and the sidelining of opposition politicians.
There are also fears of outright fraud.
The early election date will only fuel criticism that Maduro has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship and could spur further sanctions from the United States.
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