Socialist Party of Venezuela confirmed Maduro as its candidate in elections

Socialist Party of Venezuela confirmed Maduro as its candidate in elections

Nicolás Maduro will run for a third consecutive term as president of Venezuelaannounced the president of the National Assembly, ruling out other socialist candidates

Maduro, 60, will carry the flag of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela in the elections, Jorge Rodríguez told lawmakers on Thursday. The electoral authority has not yet set a date, but the Government of Venezuela has agreed with the opposition that the country will go to the polls in the second half of 2024.

“With or without international observers in Venezuela, in 2024, there will be presidential elections,” said Rodríguez, “if they don’t want to come, don’t come.”

Holding a free and fair vote is a key condition for an agreement that Maduro and the opposition signed last year in Barbados. Shortly after the agreement was announced in October, the US President’s Administration, Joe Biden temporarily eased the country’s sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gold industrieswhich led to a modest revival of the economy.

The campaign will be the first contested by the main opposition parties since 2013. But The United States has said it needs to see more commitments from Maduro if it wants sanctions relief to continue.

A key step is to allow banned candidates to run after a review of their cases by the judiciary. María Corina Machado, who overwhelmingly won the opposition primaries, is still awaiting a court decision on her ban from running for public office.

Without naming her, Rodríguez ruled out Machado’s possible candidacy for the presidency. “There is no way for this woman to be a candidate for anything in any election in Venezuela,” she said.

Maduro’s popularity is around 25%, according to Caracas-based pollster Delphos, near a historic low heading into the campaign.