Caracas [Venezuela], Jan 25, 2018
Venezuela’s pro-government constituent assembly announced on Tuesday that elections should be held by April 30.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he was ready to contest the elections and bid for a second term.
The announcement comes after the European Union imposed sanctions against seven high-ranking officials for their role in suppressing democratic freedoms on protesters and the violent anti-Maduro protests last year.
“If the world wants to apply sanctions, we will apply elections. There will be a revolution for a long time to come. I’m a humble worker and ready to be a candidate if that’s what the social and political forces of the Bolivarian revolution decide,” said Diosdado Cabello, one of the sanctioned officials and vice-president of the assembly.
Maduro, a former bus driver and foreign minister under the former president Hugo Chavez cabinet, took over in 2013 after Chavez died battling cancer.
Its coalition is made up of more than two dozen parties with different ideological differences. They often bicker over their own strategies and decisions that have affected most poor Venezuelans.
Last year, Venezuela witnessed its worst economic crisis when people protested in huge numbers against food shortage, hyperinflation, and declining oil production. Its foreign exchange reserves also collapsed, causing the country’s economy to collapse completely.