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LATIN AMERICA | 29-12-2022 14:14

Decision on future of Venezuela's opposition 'government' postponed

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó puts off decision on whether his "interim government" should be dissolved.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on Wednesday postponed to January 3 a decision on whether his "interim government" should be dissolved over its failure to dislodge President Nicolás Maduro from power.

The decision on Guaidó's future was set for Thursday, but the 39-year-old opposition figure announced the delay on Twitter.

"I assume [as president of the 'interim government'] the deferral of the session in pursuit of the defense of the constitution and [to get] the necessary unity in favor of an agreement," Guaidó tweeted.

Almost four years ago, Guaidó won the recognition of more than 50 nations as the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, after widely disputed elections that kept Maduro in power. But while the opposition holds the purse strings to some of Venezuela's assets abroad, the opposition leader's failure to find a strategy to oust his rival has caused his public support to plummet. 

His international backing has also weakened. The United States, the opposition's most significant ally, has sought rapprochement with Maduro in the midst of the oil crisis caused by sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine. 

Some Latin American countries – including Brazil and Colombia – have also recently elected leftist leaders in a pink wave.

In Venezuela, some opposition factions did not want to delay the vote on Guaidó's future but acceded to requests to debate further, even as they warned that bickering weakened them.

"Let us exhaust the path of consensus," said Juan Pablo Guanipa, member of Justice First, one of the four opposition parties proposing to put an end to the "interim government."

"If something favors the dictator Maduro, it is our fractures and our division," he said.

Guanipa's party, together with the Democratic Action, A New Time and Movement for Venezuela parties, said that they had not been consulted on postponing the session.

In order to decide the fate of the "interim government," the 2015 parliament – currently with 104 members – must hold two votes.

Last Thursday, a first debate was held in which two proposals came up for a vote: one to end Guaidó's presidency as of January 5, which received 72 votes, and another that would extend it for another year, which had 23. There were nine abstentions.

Guaidó's Popular Will party says ending his "interim government" would allow Maduro to regain control of Venezuelan resources blocked abroad by sanctions.

The opposition plans to hold primaries in 2023 to elect a single candidate to face Maduro in the next presidential elections, scheduled for 2024. Guaidó is among the possible candidates.

 

 

– TIMES/AFP

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