Venezuelan Electoral Body Sets Presidential Election Date

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CARACAS -- Venezuela's presidential elections will be held on April 22, Tibisay Lucena, president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), announced Wednesday.

The announcement came after the decision was made by Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC) in January to move up the presidential elections to sometime before the April 30 deadline.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be running for re-election as the candidate of Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV).

On Saturday, Maduro urged the CNE to set an election date "without delay." Maduro also reiterated that the country will hold the elections "with or without" the participation of the right-wing opposition, which boycotted the elections last year to elect the members of the ANC.

The move backfired, with millions of Venezuelans going to the polls despite the opposition's campaign to keep voters away.

Elections were set to take place in December 2018, but the ruling socialist party feared that external support for the right-wing opposition coalition could strengthen the anti-government movement over the coming months.

--BERNAMA