Caracas, Venezuela | May 19
Here’s a look at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the two opposition candidates he faces in Sunday’s election:
Maduro: The 55-year-old former bus driver rose to power after earning the late President Hugo Chavez’s trust and taking on key roles in the socialist leader’s former government. Before his death from cancer in 2013, Chavez urged Venezuelans to choose Maduro to continue his legacy.
Maduro has tried to ride Chavez’s coattails since narrowly winning the presidency in 2013, but his popularity is now vastly diminished. Polls indicate he has an approval rating of about 20 percent. Under his watch, the country’s economy has experienced one of the most severe recessions in modern Latin America’s history.
The main contender of Maduro is the independent candidate Henri Falcón, who ran after breaking with the opposition alliance, made up of more than three dozen parties that called for abstention but did not formulate an alternative plan to that initiative.
Falcón, lawyer, retired military officer and politician of 56 years, was governor of the agricultural state of Lara in consecutive periods, between 2008 and 2017, as well as mayor of Barquisimeto.
Bertucci, a 48-year-old evangelical pastor, has asked Falcon to join his candidacy since his followers, mostly evangelicals, would not migrate to another, something that would be possible with Falcón supporters because “they are not their own electors.“
Whoever wins will govern during the sexennium 2019-2025.