Venezuelan President Maduro To Ban Major Opposition Parties From Contesting Elections

| December 12 , 2017 , 19:57 IST

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that some of the main opposition parties will not be allowed to run in next year's presidential election. Several opposition parties had not participated in the Mayoral election and had called for a boycott.

The mayoral elections follow a crushing defeat of opposition candidates in October's gubernatorial elections, where anti-Maduro candidates won just five of 23 races amid allegations of official vote buying and other irregularities. Major opposition parties boycotted the mayoral elections and have demanded the formation of a new Election Commission.

Maduro came out after casting his ballot and said, “A party that has not participated today cannot participate anymore. They will disappear from the political map."

“If they don’t want elections, what are they doing? What’s the alternative? (Civil) war?” a visibly angry Maduro asked.

Candidates of Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela took the mayoralties in all but one of more than 40 principal municipalities, according to the national election authorities.

Opposition leaders argued that participation in Sunday’s voting would have served only to legitimize Maduro’s dictatorial administration.

United States of America has condemned Maduro’s threat to opposition parties stating that ‘the Venezuelan people deserve right to free and fair democratic process that is open to all candidates.’