Former Venezuelan governor Henri Falcon launched his candidacy on Tuesday to run against President Nicolas Maduro in the April 22 presidential election.
Venezuela Opposition Leader Henri Falcon Registers as Candidate
Falcon, who announced his candidacy on state television, will run despite a coalition of opposition parties saying last week they would not present a candidate as it considered the elections a "fraudulent, illegitimate" process.
According to some observers, Falcon is viewed with suspicion within the opposition due to his origins within the governing “Chavismo” movement. Some opposition leaders fear his candidacy would alienate himself from the opposition's upper and middle class, as well as their anti-Chavista base who consider him a traitor for conceding defeat in his last run at governor of the state of Lara State.
Before being governor of Lara state (2000-2008), representing the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Falcon was an early supporter of former President Hugo Chavez, who he met before the failed coup attempt in 1992.
He was elected as a representative for Lara State at the 1999 National Constituent Assembly; but 10 years later, Falcon, often referred to as a “Chavista light”, parted from the socialist movement over the Venezuelan Constitutional Referendum and joined Patria Para Todos or “Fatherland for All.”
He was reelected as governor of Lara State as part of the MUD coalition in 2012 but notably was voted out of office during the 2017 regional elections.
In 2012, he created his own party, the Progressive Advance party, who he will be representing for the upcoming presidential elections in alliance with the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) and COPEI.
The Progressive Advance Party officially supported the candidacy of opposition leader Henrique Capriles against Hugo Chavez in the 2012 elections.