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Venezuela Election Delay Sparks Opposition Anger

Venezuela Election Delay Sparks Opposition AngerVenezuela Election Delay Sparks Opposition Anger

Venezuela's elections for state governorships have been postponed until next year, a move denounced by the opposition as unconstitutional.

The polls had been expected in December, but the election board said they would now be held around mid-2017.

Opinion polls have suggested the government of President Nicolas Maduro would fare badly in the elections. He recently said economic recovery and not elections were the priority for the country, BBC reported.

Venezuela has seen three years of deep recession, with inflation expected to top 700% this year. There are huge shortages of food and medicines, and looting is widespread.

Maduro, who replaced the late Hugo Chavez in 2013, has seen his approval ratings plummet to just over 20%. His term runs until 2019 but the opposition is seeking to end it early by securing enough signatures to trigger a recall referendum.

Announcing the delay, National Election Board head, Tibisay Lucena, gave no reason for it.

Government officials quoted by Reuters have said exceptional measures are needed to counter what they describe as a US-led economic war against the nation.

The opposition Democratic Unity coalition denounced the election delay, saying, "This decision by the election board is part of a dangerous trend by a regime clearly acting outside the constitution."

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