Venezuela’s President Maduro Announces Campaign for Re-election

By Iulian Cernatinschi, International News Writer

President Nicolas Maduro, the current president of Venezuela, has announced that he will run for another six-year term for the country’s presidency, a BBC News report said on January 24. The widely unpopular Venezuelan president is expecting the ruling Socialist Party to support him in his upcoming campaign, despite strong criticism from the international arena.

“I’m ready to be the presidential candidate,” Mr. Maduro said during a rally broadcast on state-run television.

The Constituent Assembly superbody legislature announced that the election is to be held by the end of April, and that this course of action is further proof of Venezuela’s democratic intentions, a direct response to the sanctions imposed by the United States, Canada, and the European Union. These restrictions are responses to rights and corruption allegations towards the current Venezuelan president and government. Mr Maduro says, “foreign nations, and especially the United States and Spain, are leading a campaign to bring down the country’s socialist government” (BBC NEWS).

Maduro’s political career started in 2000, when he rose from his bus driver position to union leader and later elected into the National Assembly. His career then took off, fulfilling a variety of positions under Hugo Chaves, until 2006 when he was selected as Foreign Minister. After Chaves’ death in 2013, Maduro took on the responsibilities of president following a special election. Since his entrance into the office, Venezuela’s socioeconomic status declined, resulting in riots and uprisings in 2014 continuing until 2016.

Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, and arguably Maduro’s strongest political opponent, has been prohibited from participating in the upcoming election and public office as a whole due to “mismanaging public funds as governor of Miranda state,” according to BBC News. Capriles is not the only opposition force not allowed to run in the campaign. Following a decree of the Constituent Assembly, political parties that want to participate in coming elections must have been active in previous ones. This piece of legislature prevents vocal opposition politicians such as Henry Ramos Allup to run against Maduro, essentially paving a possible win for the potential Socialist Party-backed candidate. Allup however, stays positive, tweeting that “A government that is a product of force or an electoral trap cannot survive at an international level.”

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 30th print edition.

Contact Iulian at

iulian.cernatinschi@student.shu.edu

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