Maduro says doesn’t think Venezuela needs presidential elections now

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CARACAS, February 8. /TASS/. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he doesn’t think it necessary to hold presidential elections in the country right now.

“What does the people of Venezuela need today? Elections? I don’t think so,” he told journalists.

“The people of Venezuela needs economic revival, peace and constitutional stability. And it is necessary to reelect the National Assembly for that,” he said.

“The opposition wants no elections,” he said. “If we say elections will be held in 30 days, they will begin inventing reasons to dodge them.”

On January 23, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition Juan Guaido, whose appointment as parliamentary speaker had been annulled by the Supreme Court two days before that, declared himself as acting president. On the same day, the United States recognized him as acting head of state. So did the Lima Group countries except for Mexico, the Organization of American States, and a number of other countries. On January 28, Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil company PDVSA and put some of Venezuela’s assets in US banks under Guaido’s control.

Some European countries recognized Guaido as interim president after Maduro had refused to call an early election within eight days. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey came out in Maduro’s support. The UN secretary-general urged a dialogue for resolving the crisis.

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