Venezuela's Opposition Still Split On Participating In April's Presidential Election

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers in Caracas, Venezuela February 16, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters: Venezuela's opposition coalition likely to boycott presidential vote

CARACAS (Reuters) - Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition coalition appeared likely on Monday to decide on a boycott of the April presidential election, believing authorities have rigged it for President Nicolas Maduro and his ruling socialists.

Maduro, the 55-year-old successor of Hugo Chavez, is seeking re-election in the April 22 vote despite his unpopularity and a crushing economic crisis. But critics say the election is a farce, with Maduro’s main rivals barred from standing and a compliant election body bound to favor the socialists.

Leaders of the main parties in the Democratic Unity coalition have for days been considering whether to participate or not in the vote. Some believe a boycott is a self-destructive free pass for Maduro, while others say participation would be doomed to failure and merely legitimate his “dictatorship.”

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WNU Editor: With all of the opposition leaders in jail, barred from running, or in exile .... what is the point of participating .... Factbox: Venezuela's jailed, exiled or barred opposition politicians (Reuters).

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