Venezuela's Maduro Bans Opposition Parties from 2018 Election

Nicolas Maduro bars opposition from next year's vote

The Latin American leader said the opposition parties that boycotted Sunday's municipal elections were no longer part of the political landscape and would not be able to participate in future voting.

Speaking after he had cast his vote in municipal elections on Sunday, Mr Maduro said that the parties which had boycotted those polls would be banned from the presidential election next year. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is accused of dismantling his nation's democracy, will address the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next week, a council spokesman said on September 4, 2017. Now, both sides are gearing up for presidential elections. "They will disappear from the political map".

The National Constituent Assembly - a legislative body aligned with Maduro's party - was sworn into office in August despite months of deadly protests and worldwide condemnation.

Three of the four major opposition parties refused to field candidates in Sunday's contests because of irregularities and allegations of fraud detected in recent gubernatorial elections.

"He should go. He should resign democratically so we can have elections and choose candidates at every level of society". "What's the alternative? (Civil) war?" the president asked.

Now, that avenue appears to have been closed off by Maduro, who prevails in the OPEC-member despite flirting with a default on huge debts, amid a worsening economic and social crisis marked by hyperinflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.

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He told his supporters on Sunday to "prepare for great victories in 2018".

Its biggest problem, he said, is that "it does not have a leader that can motivate, organize and revive hope". "Despite the calls for abstention, a more than 47% participation", said Nicolás Maduro during a televised speech.

The opposition Popular Will party said the election had been a "farce".

The spat between the two countries, which have been at loggerheads for years, was triggered by the announcement on Sunday by President Maduro.

But some small parties in the Democratic Unity coalition have dissented and run candidates, confusing opposition supporters already disillusioned at the failure to weaken Maduro in months of protests that claimed 125 lives earlier this year.

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