Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has pushed the country to a step closer to full-blown dictatorship by banning the main opposition parties from next year’s presidential election after they boycotted mayoral polls.
He said that by boycotting Sunday’s municipal polls, the opposition parties had forfeited the right to take part in next year’s far more important presidential vote.
“If they don’t want elections, what are they doing? What’s the alternative? (Civil) war?” the president asked, visibly angry
“They cannot take part. They will disappear from the political map,” a triumphant Maduro added.
His socialist party won more than 90 per cent of the mayoral contests in Sunday’s local election, which much of the opposition ignored and dismissed as a farce.
Mr Maduro said his party won more than 300 of Venezuela’s 355 mayoral races. And the president insisted that 9.3 million people voted, which he called a record for a municipal vote.
A boycott in municipal votes could be seen by many as a sign the government had lost the support of the massive lower-income base it relies on to stay in power and in charge of the state-led economy.
Banned parties include Primero Justicia (Justice First), Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) and Un Nuevo Tiempo (A New Era), which between them won almost 40 per cent of the seats in 2015’s legislative elections — the last in Venezuela which could be described as anything like fair.
President Maduro has been presiding over one of the worst economic crisis in history
~ Source: the DailyUpdates