Caracas, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Venezuela’s opposition leader said on Sunday that he would continue as acting president of the Caribbean nation amid what he terms as a “usurped” presidency of Nicolas Maduro.
“We are not going to stop, we’ll stay firm and in office to fulfil our constitutional mandate,” Juan Guaidó said in a video posted on his Twitter account on Sunday night.
Guaidó, a lawmaker for the coastal state of La Guaira, near Caracas, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president in January 2019 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for another six-year term after winning elections that were described as fraudulent by the opposition.
Guiadó based his decision on an interpretation of several articles of the country’s constitution and protected in his position as head of the Venezuelan parliament, the only body that the opposition controls.
He was immediately recognized by the United States and several countries in the region.
Some 50 countries have recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
But after the boycott he called for in the legislative elections on Sunday, Guaidó will lose his position as president of the opposition-held National Assembly on Jan. 5 when the elected representatives are sworn in.
Guaidó, who has denounced the elections as a “fraud”, announced that he would invoke the principle of “constitutional continuity” to stay on as the head of the legislature.
“The legitimate National Assembly (parliament), I, as the acting president, will continue here together, with you, based not only on the principal of constitutional continuity, the responsibility of the parliament and defending the legitimate mission entrusted to us by the people of Venezuela,” he said
More than 20.7 million Venezuelans were eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections on Sunday, but EFE was able to verify a low voter turnout throughout the day.
Guaidó said in his message that rather than serving as a solution for the crisis that the country is going through, the elections will only increase the differences between Chavismo and the opposition.
“They will not be able to lift any of the forms of pressure,” said the opposition leader about international sanctions against officials of the Maduro government and several state companies.
“They will not be able to ease the crisis until there is democracy. The crisis, unfortunately, is only going to deepen,” he added.
Guaidó also reiterated his call to hold a popular consultation, a kind of referendum that he proposed to the parliamentarians as a response, to be held between Dec. 7 and 12. EFE-EPA