Henri Falcon, the main opposition candidate in Venezuela’s presidential elections, has lashed out against the leaders of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) warning they will “disappear” from the country's political landscape for failing to participate in the elections on May 20 and for calling on voters to abstain from voting.
“You will disappear as politicians and as parties for not understanding the dynamics of a country that demands solutions and not conflict,” Falcon, who was a member of the group, told reporters Friday.
He further reprimanded the group saying "four parties (those participating in the elections) believe in national unity" but those, who are are trying to destabilize the country from within and that have called for the boycott of the elections do not.
Falcon, who is second in opinion polls behind Nicolás Maduro, also rejected the MUD's proposal to postpone the election until December.
"This cannot stand until December; the crisis needs treatment now," he said.
On Friday, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry also upheld the importance of the May 20 elections and criticized the opposition's calls for boycott, accusing it of carrying out "United States foreign policy."
"The upcoming elections are a great opportunity to achieve civil reconciliation. To lose or ignore them in a premeditated way is shortsighted, and of course, counterproductive," María Zajarova told reporters.
Falcon’s statements against the MUD were made one day after the group reiterated they would not participate in the elections and called on their supporters to abstain from voting on May 20. A move Falcon claims would only benefit the incumbent, who is running for re-election.
Various polls show Falcon holding between 28 and 34 percent of the public support and the 56-years-old former Lara State governor has repeatedly declared his faith in the electoral process. He has also stated his belief that he has a real chance of winning the election.
Both leading candidates, Maduro and Falcon, agree that elections shouldn't be delayed. In a political rally Friday, Maduro affirmed that Venezuela will hold presidential elections on May 20.
“The oligarchy wants us to suspend the elections… I tell them: rain or shine on Sunday, May 20 there are elections in Venezuela and the people will choose a president,” Maduro reiterated.
Earlier that day, after a meeting with authorities of Venezuela’s state powers he warned elements within the opposition “the Venezuelan state is compact, cohesive and determined to uphold the right of the people of Venezuela to vote in peace… We will not allow right-wing violence.”
On Friday, the Broad Front, a platform that includes the MUD called for “a great day of protest” on May 16, four days before the elections.