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Venezuelan opposition refuses to take part in December parliamentary elections

The document was signed by 27 parties, including parliamentary ones - Popular Will, Democratic Action and Justice First

MEXICO CITY, August 3. /TASS/. Venezuela’s main opposition parties said in a joint statement published on Sunday night they refused to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for early December.

"Having exhausted all effort both inside the country and beyond its borders to achieve a competitive election that would ensure the people’s sovereign will is respected, we, the democratic political organizations of Venezuela, inform the country’s people and the international community that we unanimously decided not to take part in the electoral fraud, organized by the Maduro regime," the statement reads.

The document was signed by 27 parties, including parliamentary ones - Popular Will, Democratic Action and Justice First.

In line with the National Electoral Council’s decision, parliamentary elections in Venezuela will be held on December 6. Registration will continue between August 10 and 19. The campaigning period will last between November 21 and December 5.

Opposition forces won the December 2015 parliamentary elections in Venezuela, but later the parliament was de-facto excluded from the decision-making process. The Constitutional Assembly, established in summer 2017 on the initiative of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, assumed its functions. No political rivals of the current government are represented in the assembly.

The situation in Venezuela escalated after on January 23, 2019, Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader, whose appointment to the position of parliamentary speaker had been cancelled by the country’s Supreme Court two days before, declared himself acting president at a rally in the country’s capital of Caracas. The US recognized him as acting president, as did Lima Group members (except for Mexico), the Organization of American States and most EU countries. Incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in turn, blasted the move as a coup staged by Washington and said he was severing diplomatic ties with the US. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, China, Nicaragua, Syria and Turkey voiced support for Maduro.