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(Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado registered for primaries to choose the candidate who’ll try to end a quarter century of socialist rule in elections next year.
Machado, who leads polls among opposition candidates seeking to topple the government of President Nicolás Maduro officially signed up for the process on Friday morning. Ten other candidates had already registered.
“I have a message for the international community, and the world’s democrats: get ready for the defeat of Maduro in 2024”,” Machado said, after formalizing her candidacy under the Vente Venezuela party.
Maduro’s government began a controversial overhaul of the state electoral body last week, which led the opposition to announce it would organize this year’s primaries without its support. The process will be difficult to organize could be delayed as result, Eurasia Group analyst Risa Grais-Targow wrote in a note. The vote is initially scheduled for October 22.
Read more: Venezuela Opposition Shuns Electoral Authority for Primaries
Hundreds of supporters gathered to see Machado in Plaza Altamira in Caracas on Friday morning, which has long been a center for protests against Maduro and his predecessor the late Hugo Chavez.
Demonstrations have become rare in the capital since 2019, when massive demonstrations in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaidó died down after an uprising that failed to oust Maduro.
Henrique Capriles, another popular contender, is expected to add his name to the list on Saturday, the last day for candidates to register.
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