April 13th, 2024

Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Maria Machado names substitute while she fights ban

By The Associated Press on March 22, 2024.

Opposition leader María Corina Machado arrives at her headquarters in order to give a press conference regarding the arrest order for her campaign manager and eight other opposition members for alleged involvement in a conspiracy plot to destabilize the government, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Machado has been disqualified from holding public office for 15 years but has continued to campaign for president ahead of the July 28 elections. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuelan opposition powerhouse Maria Corina Machado on Friday named a substitute to her presidential bid while she fights a government ban on her running for office.

The announcement came after Machado faced increasing political repression from the government of President Nicolás Maduro as well as pressure from foreign leaders and fellow government opponents to abandon her candidacy.

Machado made the announcement two days after authorities arrested two of her campaign staffers and issued warrants for seven more, accusing them of links to an alleged anti-government plot.

She told reporters that college professor Corina Yoris will be registered as her opposition faction’s presidential candidate ahead of a Monday deadline. The presidential election is set for July 28.

Machado, a former lawmaker, overwhelmingly won an October primary election organized by an opposition faction. But the governing party-loyal Supreme Tribunal of Justice in January affirmed a ban on her running for office, and fellow government critics pressed her to stand down to get behind an alternate candidate.

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