Tuesday 15 October, 2019

Italy: New presidential election needed soon in Venezuela

Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi delivers his speech at the parliament in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi delivers his speech at the parliament in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

Italy's populist government is calling for elections soon in Venezuela but is stopping short of joining its European Union allies in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi, addressing lawmakers Tuesday, said his government wants "new presidential elections as soon as possible" in Venezuela. Moavero said the 2018 election was "invalidated in their correctness, fairness and legality," leaving Nicolas Maduro without "democratic legitimacy" as president. Moavero said "free, transparent and credible" elections are needed.

Italy's allies have pressed Rome to recognise Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader until elections can be held. A delegation representing Guaido lobbied Italy's government and Vatican officials this week in Rome.

Italy's senior governing party, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, has been strongly sympathetic to Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: