Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro are calling for mass street protests on Saturday against the May 20 presidential elections which they say are fraudulent, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The objective “is to raise our voice in the face of the possibility that the government will hold presidential elections without conditions. They’re a fraud,” member of parliament Negal Morales told reporters.
Morales, a member of the opposition Broad Front, which groups opposition parties and civil society organizations, said its objective is to press for guarantees in order to hold “free and transparent elections,” and was not calling on people to abstain.
Several opposition parties have said they will boycott the election, in which the unpopular Maduro is seeking a second six-year term, despite presiding over a deepening economic crisis.
Morales told a press conference that the group would seek to represent a broad front of those dissatisfied with Maduro’s socialist government.
“It is a space for participation, for a superior unity, that is calling Venezuelans together for change.”
He insisted the group was seeking peaceful demonstrations, after months of violent protests last year left scores dead as Venezuelans struggle with chronic shortages of food and medicine.
“We are not fostering… the possibility of a confrontation between civilian people and armed people,” he said.
“What else are we going to ask young Venezuelans who are dying of hunger? We are not going to ask them to go out and die, we are asking them for civic protest.”