World Bulletin / News Desk
France criticised on Friday a decision by Venezuela's top court to exclude the main opposition from a planned presidential election, saying the move undermined the vote.
"By deciding to exclude... the Venezuelan opposition Mesa de Unidad Democratica (MUD), the Venezuelan authorities have again undermined the fairness of these elections, after having changed the electoral calendar without concertation with the opposition," a foreign ministry statement said.
The court, seen as being stacked with Maduro loyalists, issued a ruling that means the MUD will be unable to register before the vote which has been brought forward to April 30 at the latest.
Since taking power last May, French President Emmanuel Macron has been an outspoken critic of Maduro, the hand-picked successor to longtime Venezuelan strongman and socialist Hugo Chavez.
"A dictatorship is trying to survive at an unprecedented humanitarian cost," Macron said in his first major foreign policy speech in August.
President Donald Trump repeated his call, meanwhile, for arming some of America's teachers and claimed the controversial proposal was increasingly drawing support.
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