President Nicholas Maduro of Venezuela appealed to the country's top court to postpone the parliamentary elections that were scheduled to be held in December this year. According to reports, Maduro urged the apex court to postpone the elections until January 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Maduro during a radio interview said that it would be irresponsible on his part to call for the elections to be held everywhere amid the health crisis.
Maduro during the interview said that the Supreme Justice Tribunal would have to make the decision and added that the pro-government National Constituent Assembly could extend its mandate past December. Maduro in 2018 was able to postpone elections after making a pact with some opposition parties. Western nations including dozens of South American countries criticised Maduro and accused his government of creating unfair conditions for the vote. The United States and Canada had imposed tough sanctions on Maduro's government accusing it of systemic corruption, narcotrafficking and stealing billions of dollars in state funds.
However, Maduro insists that the postponement of elections request is solely based on the coronavirus outbreak that has currently gripped the world by its throat. According to data by worldometer, Venezuela has recorded 227 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, of which nine people have lost their lives. There are 101 active cases in the country as of April 19 with four of them under critical conditions.
The coronavirus pandemic has infected over 2.33 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,60,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Currently, the United States, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom are the most affected countries in the world with a recorded death toll of 14,000 and above.
(Image Credit: AP)