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    Pro-government supporters holding a Venezuela's flag attend a rally against U.S President Donald Trump in Caracas, Venezuela August 14, 2017

    Venezuelan Opposition Calls for Abstaining From Voting in Presidential Election

    © REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) - The Venezuelan Democratic Unity Roundtable opposition bloc has issued a statement calling on the country's residents to refrain from participation in the forthcoming snap presidential election.

    "Refraining from the participation in this fraudulent vote and leaving the streets empty, leaving [the supporters of the government] alone is a way to show our rejection of Nicolas Maduro's regime and the May 20 electoral fraud," the statement read.

    According to the opposition organization, the legal vote should take place in December, however, it was rescheduled by the National Constituent Assembly, the legislative body initiated by Maduro.

    The opposition also called on Falcon, who had decided to participate in the vote in spite of the joint decision of the opposition, to withdraw its candidacy.

    READ MORE: Venezuela Seeks Russian, Chinese Aid Over US Sanctions on Trade Deals

    On May 20, the Venezuelans will elect the next president of the nation. There are five candidates for the post: incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, opposition leader Henri Falcon, Reinaldo Quijada, Luis Ratti and Javier Bertucci. Along with the presidential vote, local elections will also take place.

    Venezuela, mired in a deep economic crisis, has been facing mass protests since last spring. The rallies 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 rewriting 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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