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A Guide to 2018 Latin American Elections: Venezuela

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Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is running for reelection on May 20 in a race boycotted by all major opposition parties. The snap elections were called unilaterally by the Maduro administration, in defiance of the opposition coalition, the international community, and tradition, which dictates the elections be held in the latter part of the year. Furthermore, the election was approved by the Constituent Assembly, a body deemed illegal by the opposition and the international community. Dozens of opposition candidates and office-holders—from the presidential to local levels—are prohibited from running because they’ve been jailed, disqualified, or physically threatened and forced to leave the country. Election officials also ruled several large opposition parties were ineligible to field candidates in 2018.

Maduro will have one challenger, however: Henri Falcón, a chavista-turned-opposition-figure and former governor. Upon announcing his candidacy, the opposition kicked him out of the coalition.

Venezuelan presidents serve six-year terms.

>> Find out about other elections in our main 2018 Election Guide.

A Venezuelan walks past a wall with graffiti that reads "I won't vote."

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Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

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