Venezuela to hold parliamentary elections in December

Jailed opposition leaders had announced hunger strikes demanding date be set

Venezuela to hold parliamentary elections in December

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Venezuela will hold parliamentary elections Dec. 6, the country's election board announced Monday after much speculation the vote could be delayed.

The crucial election is set to be one of the most unpredictable in recent years, given the current low-level of support for President Nicolás Maduro and his ruling PSUV party, coupled with the fractured state of the opposition.

In March, pollster Datanalisis said Maduro's popularity stood at 25 percent, due to the dire state of the country’s economy -- decimated by the global fall in oil prices in the last year -- and a subsequent widespread lack of staple products.

Analysts believe the PSUV, which currently controls the National Assembly with 96 of the country's 165 deputies, could lose significant ground in the vote.

The opposition umbrella party, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), had been calling on the government to set a date for the election, and had accused officials of delaying the announcement out of concerns for Maduro's popularity.

But as National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena announced the election date, she denied the accusations.

"Never has this electoral authority given any sense that there would not be an election this year," Lucena told reporters, refuting claims the CNE had been pressured into the decision.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Haziran 2015, 09:02