A coalition that includes more than a dozen Latin American countries has rejected a decision by Venezuela's ruling party to call for elections early in the year
CARACAS, Venezuela — The latest on Venezuelan elections (all times local):
A coalition that includes more than a dozen Latin American countries has rejected a decision by Venezuela's ruling party to call for elections early in the year.
The Lima Group issued a harshly worded statement Tuesday saying the early vote contradicts democratic principles and does not align with international standards.
Venezuela's national constituent assembly voted unanimously to hold elections by the end of April. And President Nicolas Maduro said he will seek a second term.
The Lima Group was formed last year by mostly conservative governments to advocate for what it considers the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Its members include Argentina, Brazil Colombia and Mexico.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he's interested in seeking re-election as the ruling socialist party seeks to consolidate its grip on power amid a devastating economic crisis.
Maduro's comments Tuesday came shortly after the pro-government constitutional assembly ordered elections be held by the end of April.
Maduro said it would be up to the ruling socialist party to nominate a candidate but that he would throw his hat in the ring should he garner the backing of the revolution.
While it was widely expected Maduro would seek another six-year term until now he hadn't directly expressed that desire publicly.
Polls show Venezuelans that overwhelmingly blame Maduro for widespread food shortages and triple-digit inflation. But his opponents are also struggling following the collapse of last year's protest movement and crackdown on dissent.