Venezuela: Main Opposition to Support Falcon’s Presidential Bid

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The “only peaceful way out” of Venezuela’s political crisis is to vote, said Claudio Fermin, head of Henri Falcon’s presidential election.

Claudio Fermin, head of Henri Falcon’s Venezuelan presidential campaign, said leaders of the Venezuelan opposition representing the Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD, will throw their support behind Falcon’s candidacy, while affirming the candidate’s participation despite the U.N.’s refusal to send an election observer mission to the country.

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“I have to say, with great joy, that they (MUD members) expressed sympathy and solidarity and are already committed to Henri Falcon’s cause,” Fermin told reporters Monday. The opposition group has concluded that abstention is not an option, Fermin added, stressing that the “only peaceful way out” of the political crisis plaguing the South American country is to participate in the presidential election and vote.

He also noted that Falcon will stay the course of the entire presidential election despite the United Nations declining to send an observer mission to accompany the presidential election. 

Falcon is a university professor, a former ally of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and long-time governor of the state of Lara. He met Chavez before he attempted a military and civilian uprising against former Venezuelan President Andres Pastrana and his austerity measures.

Falcon went on to become a vocal critic of Chavez and current Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Last month, he registered his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections despite the MUD’s original decision to boycott the vote. He will compete with Maduro, among others, as the candidate for the Progressive Advance and Movement Towards Socialism parties during the May 20 presidential election.

Some observers claim that he’s viewed with suspicion within the opposition due to his origins within the Bolivarian revolutionary movement. Some opposition leaders feared his candidacy would alienate him from the opposition’s upper and middle class, as well as their anti-Chavista base who consider him a traitor for conceding defeat in his last run at governor of the state of Lara State.

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