France reminds Maduro: ‘Ultimatum ends tonight’

Maduro has ignored those demands but has reiterated his call to bring forward legislative elections slated for the end of 2020 to this year. (AFP pic)

PARIS: France warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that a deadline to organise elections ran out Sunday night and that Paris was preparing to recognise his opponent, Juan Guaido.

France, Germany and Spain have given Maduro until midnight on Sunday to call a presidential election.

The Venezuelan leader has ignored those demands but has reiterated his call to bring forward legislative elections slated for the end of 2020 to this year.

“The ultimatum ends tonight,” France’s European affairs minister Natalie Loiseau told French media on Sunday.

“If between now and this evening Mr Maduro does not commit to organising presidential elections, we will consider that Mr Guaido is legitimate to organise them in his place,” Loiseau added

“And we will consider him as interim president until the elections,” she continued.

Loiseau added that Maduro’s suggestion of bringing forward parliamentary elections was “a farce, a tragic farce.”

Venezuelan parliament leader Guaido declared himself president on January 23.