Latin America

Venezuelan elections to go ahead in April

Venezuela's electoral authorities have announced that presidential elections will take place on 22 April.

The date was set in a compromise between the government and opposition in negotiations in the Dominican Republic.

The announcement came despite the talks collapsing over disagreement on the conditions for the vote.

The opposition said the government refused to allow two of its leaders to take part in the election.

They had hoped the vote would be held in the second half of this year, giving parties more time to hold primaries and select a candidate.

Other opposition demands included guarantees that the electoral process would be transparent, and that political prisoners would be freed.

The opposition is weakened and divided and many of the president's main potential challengers are in self-imposed exile or in jail.

The president of the Electoral Commission, Tibisay Lucena said that "despite there being no accord" in the Dominican Republic, "peace is the only way and route for the Venezuelan people to decide their destiny freely".

She added that the registration of candidates for the presidential elections would begin on 24-26 February.

The BBC's Katy Watson says that with talks between the two sided now stalled because of disagreements over electoral conditions, the political battle continues, as does the uncertainty as to how the opposition will participate in the upcoming vote.

Original Article


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