MUD Expels Henri Falcon, Ex-Chavista Challenger to Venezuela's Maduro
- Author: Megan Austin Mar 04, 2018,
Mar 04, 2018, 1:48
"I want to go to a process of reconciliation with all Venezuelans".
Venezuela has postponed its upcoming presidential vote to May 20 in a move cementing an opposition split as socialist incumbent Nicolas Maduro seeks re-election despite an economic crisis and global censure.
Venezuela's opposition coalition has accused one of its former members of "legitimising a fraudulent election system" because he broke ranks and put himself forward as a candidate against President Maduro.
"Maduro desperately needs Falcon or any candidate with real ties to the opposition in the election", said Eugenio Martinez, a Venezuelan election expert.
Before serving as governor of Lara state (2000-2008) on behalf of the ruling Chavista party, Falcon was an early supporter of former President Hugo Chavez, whom he met before the failed coup attempt in 1992.
"Sadly, Falcon succumbed to the temptation of participating and playing the dictatorship's game", said Juan Pablo Guanipa, a leader in Capriles' Justice First party.
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Luis Romero, who leads Falcon's party, said the only way to bring about change was via the polls, and not through protests similar to those that caused almost 130 deaths previous year.
The Venezuelan government rescheduled the presidential elections to the second fortnight of May after an agreement with some opposition parties. Maduro wants Mr. Falcon to run to give the election a veil of legitimacy. Mr. Maduro also lifted Venezuelans' food ticket allowance 67 percent to 915,000 bolivars a month, the equivalent of $4.29.
The vote has also been rejected by election observers and worldwide bodies, as well as the United States and many of Venezuela's neighbors. Mr.
They also agreed to hold presidential and legislative elections for state and local representatives on the same date.
Most of the opposition has said that they were boycotting the originally scheduled April 22nd elections as they would not be "free nor fair" with the backing of the United States, the European Union, Canada and 14 other countries in the hemispheric action block Grupo de Lima.