Venezuelan opposition lays out ground rules for new political dialogues

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 07:09:07|Editor: liuxin
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CARACAS, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- After President Nicolas Maduro accepted an invitation to restart dialogue with the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) on Tuesday, the MUD was quick to temper expectations.

Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, the MUD president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, said that dialogue would be based on certain conditions.

"I reiterate to Venezuela and the world that there is no dialogue today and there will not be until the conditions laid out in the MUD statement are met," he said.

On Tuesday, Maduro accepted a dialogue initiative tabled by the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, and former Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

At a cabinet meeting, Maduro said that "Zapatero and President Medina know very well that I have been calling for this dialogue and I accept this new round of talks."

However, Borges said dialogue would not resume without previous MUD conditions being met, including a "complete electoral calendar, included for presidential (elections), the freeing of political prisoners and the removal of restrictions."

He also demanded "respect for the powers given by the Constitution to the National Assembly and immediate attention to the country's economic and social crisis."

The MUD walked away from the talks in December after the government refused to accept its demands. Among those demands was the release of right-wing activists.

The ruling socialist party (PSUV) and the MUD have been locked in a protracted power struggle since Maduro's narrow presidential win in 2013.