Caracas, Venezuela (AP) – The Venezuelan opposition announced on Tuesday that it would participate in local and local elections scheduled for November, overturning the previous boycott of recent votes.
The announcement was made days before the opposition, and the government of President Nicolas Maduro is expected to meet in Mexico City to continue negotiations to find a common path to the Venezuelan political conflict. The two sides agreed to discuss electoral issues in a dialogue that officially began earlier this month.
The agenda that Maduro and the opposition representatives agreed to negotiate were election observers, abandonment of violence, compensation for victims of violence, social and economic measures and international taxes on companies. oil companies and public governments. Leaders who are considering lifting the sanctions.
Local and municipal elections are scheduled for November 21.
Grouped in a so-called “single platform”, the opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, boycotted previous elections, including the re-election of President Maduro in May 2018, and Venezuela has no conditions for a free competition. and fair. Insisted.
According to the statement, the group will participate in the next elections after “difficult internal deliberations” motivated by the serious challenges facing the country and “the urgency of finding a permanent solution”. It was determined.
Millions of Venezuelans live in poverty amid low wages and high food prices due to the world’s worst inflation rates and irregular dollarization of the economy. The United Nations Food Aid Agency estimates that one in three Venezuelans struggles to burn enough calories per day.
The country’s political, social and economic crisis due to falling oil prices and 20 years of government mismanagement continues to worsen with the pandemic.
“We know that these elections are not traditional fair elections. The dictatorship imposes serious obstacles that endanger the expression of change in the Venezuelan people, which is the future presidential election. We understand that this will be a useful battleground for the legislative elections, ”the group’s statement said.
Following the announcement, Maduro said in a televised statement that “popular sovereignty has been re-imposed”.
“There has been a cycle of political stability which must last at least until 2030,” he said. “Every vote we see is a commitment to dialogue, peace and reconciliation.”
The decision to participate in the elections was accepted by various political parties, including Voluntad Popular, of which Guaidó is a member. The boycott promoted by Guido in the 2020 parliamentary elections was not seen by minority opposition groups or dissident politicians who had previously spoken to the ruling party.
“I’m sitting in an armchair with the TV and popcorn on to watch Juan Guaidó vote on November 21,” Maduro said. “And there we were able to include it again in democracy, so I applaud. Include it in the Constitution.
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