The Latest: Venezuela's Maduro interested in re-election

AP News
Posted: Jan 23, 2018 2:54 PM
The Latest: Venezuela's Maduro interested in re-election

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Latest on Venezuelan elections (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he's interested in seeking re-election as the ruling socialist party seeks to consolidate its grip on power amid a devastating economic crisis.

Maduro's comments Tuesday came shortly after the pro-government constitutional assembly ordered elections be held by the end of April.

Maduro said it would be up to the ruling socialist party to nominate a candidate but that he would throw his hat in the ring should he garner the backing of the revolution.

While it was widely expected Maduro would seek another six-year term until now he hadn't directly expressed that desire publicly.

Polls show Venezuelans that overwhelmingly blame Maduro for widespread food shortages and triple-digit inflation. But his opponents are also struggling following the collapse of last year's protest movement and crackdown on dissent.