Venezuelan presidential candidate Javier Bertucci has said that he won't step down to support an opposition alliance behind candidate Henri Falcon, despite widespread expectations to the contrary.
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Bertucci said it would be a mistake to abandon his presidential aspirations, because his followers don't want to vote for Falcon and his Progressive Advance (AP) party.
"It would be a huge lie to meet with the other candidate and tell him that my votes are going to go for his candidacy, because they won't," Bertucci said.
The latest poll from 30.11 Consultores showed President Maduro with 48.4 percent of the vote intention. Falcon was in second with 36.3 percent, and Bertucci trailed far behind with 11.7 percent. Less than three percent of voters responded that they were still unsure.
In spite of being far behind in the polls, Bertucci is insistent that Falcon should follow him rather than the other way round, claiming that Falcon's supporters would be willing to back him, but that his own wouldn't back Falcon.
"My call is: let's unite, but under the premise that your votes can move here, and we can make efforts and join together, but if that is not the case, then why engage in theatrics?" the Hope for Change candidate said.
Bertucci also said he believes that Falcon's supporters aren't really on his side but are merely voting for Falcon as a 'non-Maduro' option.
"I know my votes aren't going for him, instead the votes of (Falcon) are not really his, they are only against Maduro," Bertucci said.
The elections are set to take place on May 20.