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    Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela's National Assembly, holds a copy of Venezuelan constitution during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019

    Opposition Leader Guaido Demands Early Election in Venezuela as Soon as Possible

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (563)
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Early elections in Venezuela should take place in six to nine months or earlier, and Venezuelans themselves must resolve the conflict in the country, the speaker of Venezuela’s opposition-run National Assembly, opposition leader Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself Venezuela's interim president, said.

    "Elections should be held as soon as possible… But first, we need to improve the electoral system as soon as possible, so that there is one voter and one vote. We are talking about six or nine months, maybe less, but [it should be held] as soon as possible," Guaido told Antena3 broadcaster, answering a question about the possible timing of early elections.

    READ MORE: Juan Guaido Story: Beginner's Guide to Claiming Venezuelan Presidency in 3 Weeks

    The politician evasively answered a question on whether he was ready to ask for military assistance from other states if the situation develops against the interests of the opposition.

    "Venezuela is a sovereign country, and Venezuelans themselves must resolve the conflict. But there is a humanitarian crisis, and children die every day, there must be a quick solution to this crisis and this conflict," Guaido added.

    He reiterated that the opposition is not ready for negotiations with President Nicolas Maduro, because the authorities "are trying to gain time, as they did many times before."

    "Free election is the only possible point for a real resolution of the political crisis," Guaido stressed.

    Answering a question about a possible amnesty for President Nicolas Maduro, Guaido said that this will be possible only if the Venezuelan authorities cooperate to restore the constitutional order.

    READ MORE: ‘Eye of the Storm': Venezuelan Streets Quiet as People Watch Guaido's Next Move

    The situation in Venezuela escalated on Tuesday, when the opposition-controlled National Assembly declared that Maduro had usurped power. National Assembly speaker Guaido proclaimed himself interim president on the following day.

    The United States along with some other states recognized Guaido, after which Maduro called the opposition leader a US puppet and accused the United States of organizing a coup in Venezuela.

    The Venezuelan president also decided to cut off diplomatic relations with the United States and asked US diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours. However, the United States has refused to withdraw its diplomats.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (563)

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    elections, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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