• Venezuela presidential election pushed back to May


    CARACAS: Venezuela postponed Thursday (Friday in Manila) its presidential election until May 20, as President Nicolas Maduro seeks a second six-year term despite the oil-rich country’s widespread economic woes. The chairman of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, confirmed the new date, firming up an earlier statement from the electoral body saying the election had been pushed back from the previously scheduled date of April 22 to sometime in the second half of May. “It is proposed that the elections for president be held simultaneously” with elections for regional legislatures, it said. Maduro’s main challenger, dissident former socialist Henri Falcon, appears to have won several concessions on conditions for the elections in talks with the government, according to the contents of the CNE statement. Under the agreement, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres will be invited to send an observer mission to monitor “all phases of the process.” The government in Caracas also agreed to extend the deadline allowing Venezuelans abroad to register to vote and to ensure equal access to media and social networks during the campaign. Maduro’s leading opponents are barred from standing in the election, leading some to argue that the deeply unpopular leader is rigging the vote.



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