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Nearly Half of Venezuelans Expected to Vote for Maduro in Election - Poll

© REUTERS / Miraflores PalaceVenezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with businessmen in Caracas, Venezuela January 9, 2017
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with businessmen in Caracas, Venezuela January 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Nearly half of Venezuelan citizens intend to back incumbent President Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming presidential election, according to a poll published Monday.

The poll, conducted by the Hinterlaces and released by the Prensa Latina news agency, showed that 48 percent of respondents planned to support Maduro, while 31 percent were in favor of opposition leader Henri Falcon. Evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci is expected to receive 14 percent of the vote, the poll added.

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The poll also found that voter turnout was expected to be 63 percent, while 28 percent of voters said they planned to abstain.

On May 20, Venezuelans will elect their next president. There are five candidates running: editor at the Aporrea media outlet Reinaldo Quijada and conservative preacher Luis Ratti will compete alongside Maduro, Falcon and Bertucci.

Venezuela, mired in a deep economic crisis, has been facing mass protests since last spring. The protests were sparked by the country's top court's decision to restrict the legislative powers of the parliament as well as the election to the National Constituent Assembly initiated by Maduro with the intention of changing the constitution. The National Constituent Assembly has not been recognized by the country's opposition, the European Union or the United States.

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