Venezuela’s Maduro to Stand as Candidate in 2018 Presidential Elections

Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami announced Wednesday that the incumbent head of state would seek re-election.

By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
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According to Venezuelan Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, President Maduro will seek a second term in office in 2018. (Archive)

Bogota, November 29, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami revealed Wednesday that the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, will seek re-election next year.

“We already have 18 state-governorships. We already have, and we are going to have, the majority of the mayorships. We have the National Constituent Assembly and we are going to have, God willing, the re-election of our brother Nicolas Maduro as president of the Republic,” he said.

El Aissami made the comments from a United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) campaign rally for the upcoming mayoral elections on December 10.

It is the first time that a member of government has confirmed that Maduro will seek a second term in the presidential elections scheduled next year, though several other politicians have hinted at the possibility. 

Many observers doubted that incumbent Maduro would be chosen for a second time as the PSUV’s official presidential candidate. His approval ratings have hovered around 20% over the past year as his country grapples with a severe economic crisis.

Maduro was named by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as his preferred successor before he passed away from cancer in 2013. The former foreign minister has served as the country’s president since being elected in April the same year. 

According to El Aissami, the PSUV has a “moral obligation” to defeat Venezuela’s opposition in elections “as many times as necessary”. He said they represented “individualism, hatred, intolerance” and are the “puppets” of US President Donald Trump. 

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