Venezuela Candidates Agree to May 20 Elections, Respect Results

Venezuela Candidates Agree to May 20 Elections, Respect Results”

The head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, said the vote will be held in the second half of May, at the same time as elections for state legislatures and municipal councils.

In response to those critics, Maduro's government says one reason it's setting the later date is to give the United Nations a chance to form a commission to observe the election.

The snap presidential election in Venezuela scheduled for 22 April has been pushed back by a month, the National Electoral Council (CNE) has announced.

The new agreement calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to put together an observer mission to monitor the elections.

The decision to delay the vote was widely interpreted by critics of the government as an attempt to steamroll the deeply divided opposition coalition and throw it into disarray.

Despite an economic crisis that has led to low approval ratings for Mr.

The US has said it would consider imposing further sanctions against the government if it went ahead with the presidential vote under what it called fraudulent conditions.

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.

Will the opposition even stand?

"If a bank somewhere in the world works with Venezuela, they feel they are going to be sanctioned", said Arreaza.

"A free and fair election should include the full participation of all political parties and political leaders, the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, proper electoral calendar, credible worldwide observation, and an independent electoral authority", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Representatives of those two parties signed Thursday's agreement.

The most high-profile opposition candidates, such as Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo López, are barred from running. Maduro also lifted Venezuelans' food ticket allowance 67 percent to 915,000 bolivars a month, the equivalent of $4.29.

An unnamed USA government official quoted by news agency Reuters said a delay "likely would not prompt the United States administration to hold back on sanctions".

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