Venezuela's Maduro says EU, UN can monitor polls

1 min

Caracas (AFP)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday he was open to allowing United Nations and European Union observers to monitor legislative elections slated for later this year.

Maduro said in his annual speech to the ruling Constituent Assembly that the "Euopean Union, the secretary general of the United Nations" and "all the international organizations" were welcome to observe the elections, for which a date has still to be set.

"Open doors for international accompaniment. Welcome! Welcome!," Maduro told the Assembly, a legislative body he created himself to override the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

Maduro warned however that Luis Almagro, head of the Organization of American States (OAS), would never be welcomed.

The OAS, along with more than 50 countries including the United States, recognizes Maduro's opposition rival Juan Guaido as interim president.

Guaido has called for a new presidential election to be held, on the grounds that Maduro is an "illegitimate" president because his 2018 re-election was tainted by fraud.

Most opposition parties boycotted those elections and have yet to decide if they will participate in the upcoming polls.

Guaido was re-elected head of the National Assembly on January 5.