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Presidential elections will be held in Venezuela on July 28

Photo: Ariana Cubillos Associated Press Nicolas Maduro's government initially negotiated the details of the election with an opposition faction.

Regina Garcia Cano – Associated Press and Jorge Rueda – Associated Press in Caracas

6:39 p.m.

  • Americas

Venezuelan officials announced Tuesday that the country's much-anticipated presidential election will take place on July 28, but the main opposition candidate remains excluded from the ballot for now.

Most expect President Nicolas Maduro to run in this election. His government initially negotiated the details of the election with an opposition faction, but differences between the parties have widened over the past two months.

The date announced Tuesday by the president of the National Electoral Council, Elvis Amoroso, however, responded to at least one demand from the opposition, who wanted the elections to take place in the second half of the year , in order to give mobilization campaigns and electoral officials time to update the lists.

But there is still no provision for candidates ruled ineligible by the government, including Mr. Maduro's most prominent opponent this year, Maria Corina Machado.

Ms. Machado won an independent primary last year organized by the opposition faction known as the United States-backed Unity Platform. She won more than 90 percent of the vote, with more than 2 million voters casting ballots in the primaries, including in strongholds of Maduro's ruling party.

Mr. Amoroso, who heads an Electoral Council loyal to the Maduro government, announced the election date four days after lawmakers proposed more than 20 possible dates, ranging from mid-April to December. He said election campaigning would be allowed from July 4 to 25, with voting on July 28.

The Unity Platform and Maduro's government agreed in October, during negotiations in Barbados, that elections should take place in the second half of 2024, without specifying which month. However, last month the opposition group's chief negotiator began pushing for a December vote.

Machado's campaign team declined to comment on the election date on Tuesday, saying she was “on tour in the Venezuelan Andes.”

It was Mr. Amoroso, in his previous role as controller of the country, who signed the ban on Ms. Machado last summer. He did not address the question of his candidacy on Tuesday when the election date was announced.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116