Japan Calls for New Elections in Venezuela

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tokyo – (PanOrient News) Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono released a statement calling for “free and fair” elections to be expeditiously held in Venezuela, where two alleged presidents vie for legitimacy.

“The President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Mr. Juan Guaidó, swore himself in as the Interim President of the Venezuela to convene presidential elections,” said Kono. “Japan supports the will of Venezuelan people seeking recovery of democracy based on its constitutional order, and urges that such will should be respected.”

Juan Guaidó sent shockwaves through the international community by proclaiming himself interim president of Venezuela on Jan. 23, challenging incumbent President Nicolás Maduro. Maduro, under whose rule Venezuela has plummeted into a humanitarian and economic crisis, was reelected to another six-year term last year, although the results of that election have been questioned.

“Regarding the presidential elections held in May, 2018, Japan has repeatedly urged the Venezuelan government to fulfill its accountability for the doubt of the international community about the legitimacy of the elections,” said Kono.

The U.S., Canada and a number of Latin American countries have officially recognized Guaidó as president. They were joined by a group of European nations, including Britain, France and Germany, on Monday after Maduro refused to schedule new elections.

Although Kono’s statement did not officially recognize Guaidó as president, it said that Japan “deplores” that the current Venezuelan government has not addressed the legitimacy of last year’s elections and that “Japan remains concerned that the deterioration of the economic and social situations in Venezuela has seriously affected the Venezuelan people, particularly those in vulnerable situations.”

“Japan will continue to provide support to the Venezuelan people including people fleeing Venezuela, as well as to neighboring countries affected,”said Kono.

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