Venezuela is under mounting international pressure over the government’s decision to push up presidential elections under conditions that opponents say overwhelmingly favor President Nicolas Maduro, who is so far the only candidate. Spain, a major trading partner with deep roots in Venezuela, became the latest government to break diplomatic ties on Friday, while French President Emmanuel Macron said that he’s open to additional European Union sanctions against what he called an “unacceptable authoritarian shift” by Maduro. The pro-government national constituent assembly last week called for an election to be held by the end of April but set no date.
Maduro immediately announced that he wants to run as the ruling socialist party candidate, pressing for the vote to happen on the earliest possible opportunity. Typically elections are held toward the end of the year to avoid a long transition when the new six-year presidential term begins in January 2019.
Foreign governments were quick to condemn the move, saying it undercuts floundering negotiations between the government and opposition that have yet to strike an accord. A major demand by the opposition in the talks is that the elections have international observers to ensure there is no cheating.
Full Article: Venezuela election push draws dismay.