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Venezuela sets presidential election for July 28 as opposition candidate remains blocked

Venezuela's government has announced its presidential election will take place on July 28, amidst a tumultuous situation in which the leading opposition candidate remains banned.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s highly anticipated presidential election will take place July 28, the country’s top electoral official announced Tuesday as the leading opposition candidate remained banned from the ballot.

National Electoral Council President Elvis Amoroso announced the date three days after lawmakers proposed more than 20 possible dates, ranging from as soon as mid-April to as late as December.

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President Nicolás Maduro is widely expected to seek re-election. His government, its allies and other groups drafted the proposal suggesting dates and covering other aspects of the election.

In picking a date after June 30, the council allows the government to comply with part of an agreement it entered with a faction of the opposition last year that called for the vote to take place in the second half of 2024.

However, the election plans make no mention of the participation of candidates banned by the government from running for office, including Maduro’s strongest adversary this year, Maria Corina Machado.

Machado won the primary held last year by the opposition faction known as the Unitary Platform, which is backed by the United States.

Amoroso, under his previous capacity as the country’s comptroller, signed Machado’s ban from office last summer. He did not address her candidacy during Tuesday’s announcement.

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