CARACAS – Venezuela’s MUD opposition alliance presented on Wednesday a manifesto for a “transition” away from the leftist administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
“With change accomplished and the current regime overcome, the democratic leadership assumes the commitment to ensure governability through the formation of a broad government of national unity,” MUD legislator Henry Ramos Allup told a press conference.
The priority of the prospective transitional government would be addressing what MUD describes as a humanitarian crisis resulting from high inflation and shortages of medicines and consumer goods, the coalition said in a written statement.
The launch of the alternative government initiative followed last Sunday’s unofficial, MUD-organized referendum on the Maduro administration’s proposal for a National Constituent Assembly with authority to overhaul the 1998 constitution.
More than 7.6 million of Venezuela’s 19.1 million eligible voters cast ballots and 98 percent of them voted against Maduro’s plan, according to the opposition.
An overwhelming majority of those who took part also endorsed the installation of a transitional government to oversee elections this year, ahead of the presidential ballot scheduled for 2018.
MUD’s vision for the next Venezuelan government calls for a president who renounces the right to run for re-election, Ramos Allup said.
Maduro’s predecessor and political mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, was first elected in 1998. After promoting the adoption of a new constitution, he won a second election in 2001.
Surviving a recall vote in 2004, Chavez went on to win again in 2007 and 2013, but he died of cancer a few months into his fourth term.
The opposition has vowed to intensify “the national political conflict” unless Maduro cancels the July 30 elections for seats in the Constituent Assembly and MUD plans a general strike for Thursday.
US President Donald Trump said he would impose economic sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro did not abandon the Constituent Assembly initiative, while the European Union suggested that it would consider doing likewise.
Since April 1, nearly 100 people have died in protests for and against the Maduro government.
Victims include both opponents and supporters of the president, as well as police and bystanders. More than a dozen members of the security forces have been charged in connection of some of those deaths.