Jorge Rodriguez, part of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s negotiating team at the talks with opposition parties in the Dominican Republic, says the government had proposed that Venezuelan presidential elections take place March 4, but reached a concession with opposition parties to hold the polls on April 22.
Rodriguez, in an interview with Venezuelan media today said that the right-wing party, United Democratic Roundtable, was initially pushing for elections to take place June 10. The two sides finally settled on the April 22 date “to hold presidential elections...as a concession with our counterparts,” said Rodriguez, who is also the Caracas mayor.
For several months the Venezuelan government and the opposition took part in dialogues in the Dominican Republic mediated by government officials from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Chile, among other Latin American nations, in order to resolve the political and economic conflicts between the two Venezuelan factions.
The talks ended last weekend when, at accords, president Nicolas Maduro signed the bilateral agreement while the opposition refused, giving in to international pressure.
Maduro is now calling on the Venezuelan people to sign the accords during a two-day national event to be held Feb. 17 and 18, giving the citizenry the chance to sign the five-page agreement.
Rodriguez said in his interview that the Venezuelan right-wing has always “advocated for the interventionism, violence, and war between brothers.”
Opposition parties incited much of last year’s and 2014’s wave of violent protests in Venezuela. The 2017 protests left 100 people killed.
The National Electoral Council officially announced last week the April 22 elections.