Maduro calls for early Parliamentary elections in Venezuela

Caracas: Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday (local time) called for early Parliamentary elections in the country, which was earlier slated to be held in 2020.

“Do they want elections? We will hold a parliamentary election,” TASS news agency quoted Maduro as saying.

“We will consult the people, through Open Bolivarian Councils, the possibility of advancing the parliamentary elections. I agree, that it is the people who decide and relegimate the Venezuelan Legislative Power,” Maduro tweeted.

The statement by the Venezuelan President came while addressing a rally organised in Caracas, both by his supporters as well as the people in support of the opposition leader and National Assembly President Juan Guaido, celebrating 20 years of the Bolivarian Revolution initiated by late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Early on Sunday, France issued an ultimatum to Maduro, stating that it would recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim President if fresh Presidential elections are not announced by Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Cuba has accused the United States of plotting a ‘coup’ in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro, calling for mobilisation to “stop the imperialist intervention in Latin America” — a charge that has been echoed by Russia and China.

Guaido had, on January 23, proclaimed himself as the new President of Venezuela, dismissing Maduro’s leadership amidst cheering protesters. The self-proclaimed President’s bid was immediately supported by the USA, who recognised him as the interim President of the South American nation and rallied for other countries to support Guaido.

Countries like Spain, Australia, UK and others have asserted pressure on Maduro to hold snap elections, outlining that they would recognise Guaido as President if no new elections are held in the coming days.