The Italian government recognises the “full legitimacy” of crisis-hit Venezuela’s parliament, which was elected in free and fair elections, foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi told lawmakers on Tuesday.
“The government acknowledges the full legitimacy of (Venezuela’s) National Assembly which was elected regularly in conformity with international standards (in 2015),” Moavero told the Italy’s lower house of parliament.
Making no explicit reference to Venezuela’s opposition-held National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, Moavero said the government did not recognise leftist leader Nicolas Maduro’s legitimacy as president following the contested 2018 vote.
“The government does not recognise the legitimacy of the last presential polls and consequently Nicolas Maduro’s presidency,” he said.
“This why the government, together with many others around the world, calls for fresh presidential elections which are free, transparent and democratic,” Moavero underlined.
Guiado declared himself interim president on 23 January, after Maduro was sworn in for a second term. Most European states have recognised Guaido as Venezuela’s interim leader, including the UK, France, Germany and Spain, but Maduro has denounced Guaido’s move as a US-backed coup bid.
Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential elections were marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging which triggered large protests in Venezuela amid a protracted economic crisis that has driven over million people from the country.