CARACAS: Venezuela will hold clutch legislative polls on December 6, officials said Monday, setting a date after weeks of pressure from opposition groups hopeful of dealing President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist party a crippling defeat. Jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has been on hunger strike for 30 days, insisting the government set a date for the polls and guarantee that they will be overseen by international observers. Another jailed opposition figure, Daniel Ceballos, also went on hunger strike for 20 days, as have dozens of supporters who have set up protest camps in Caracas. The opposition's fragile coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), had accused election officials of dragging their feet because opinion polls showed Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela risks losing the vote. "The National Electoral Council does not work under pressure," said the organization's chief, Tibisay Lucena, denying the allegation and accusing opposition groups of seeking to "discredit" her. With Venezuela's economy in recession, its oil revenues plunging and consumers facing chronic shortages of basic goods, Maduro's approval rating has sunk, creating a crisis for the political movement founded by his late mentor, leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez. That has fed optimism among the divided opposition that it can win control of the National Assembly, which starts a new term at the beginning of next year. Lucena said the official campaign period would run from November 13 to December 3. The period for candidates to register will be from August 3 to 7.
Venezuela to hold legislative polls on December 6
The Himalayan Times
Published: 01:58 am Jun 23, 2015