Venezuela opposition weighs election run after talks end


"The National Electoral Council has been in permanent session, since Monday, analyzing the dates and working on different scenarios and schedules.Today we decided, and the presidential elections are scheduled for April 22, 2018", she said during a press conference in Caracas.

The news follows last week's confirmation that President Nicolas Maduro has been named the official candidate for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Venezuela's Electoral Council (CNE) chairwoman, Tibisay Lucena, announced that the presidential elections in the country would be held on April 22.

Maduro's government, however, has said it is prepared to withstand sanctions from the "imperialist" Trump administration.

After surviving months of massive street protests previous year, Maduro has consolidated his power by creating a new legislative superbody and sidelining opposition parties. The most popular figureheads are both unable to run; Henrique Capriles is barred from office while Leopoldo Lopez is under house arrest.

The election will be held against a backdrop of economic and political crisis. Venezuela’s inflation rate ended in 2600% last year and the projections for this one are over 36000

Despite the near collapse of the Venezuelan economy including severe food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation, Maduro considers himself a sure-thing having stated: "I know the people love me".

On Jan. 26, Maduro had pledged to be "the president of Venezuelan youth and women" after announcing his candidacy for the forthcoming elections.

That same day, Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, who was brokering the talks, announced that dialogue between the government and the right-wing opposition had entered a stage of indefinite recess after the opposition refused to sign a draft agreement aimed at promoting peace and unity between the two parties.

Sponsored by Medina and former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the dialogue had support from representatives of the Chilean government at the request of the Venezuelan opposition, while Maduro's government had invited Bolivia, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to participate.

Opposition activists say Maduro's focus on campaign aesthetics show he is an uncaring tyrant vying to amass power even if it risks pushing Venezuela into a full-blown humanitarian crisis.