On May 20, a presidential election will take place in Venezuela. According to the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, the preparations are ongoing. The incumbent president, and opposition candidates are in the process of active campaigning. A trial vote took place on May 6 in a calm atmosphere with a high voter turnout.

All these signs indicate a high degree of the country’s readiness for a peaceful completion of the electoral process. The Venezuelan people are aware of the importance of this historic moment, and that there is no alternative to resolving political differences through elections, within the constitutional framework, in compliance with the national legislation. The aim of the moratorium on rallies and protests from May 18 to 21 imposed by the Venezuelan authorities is to create the necessary environment for a free and peaceful expression of the people’s will.

Yet, allegations about this election campaign being illegitimate continue to be circulated; calls are heard for a disruption of the voting process. The ongoing humanitarian crisis rhetoric further amplifies tension and provokes popular discontent with the government policy.

Planting such information is undisguised interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. We urge everyone to abandon this destructive practice. No one has the right to deprive a country’s citizens of the opportunity to express their will through voting – in a legitimate framework, without pressure, violence, or provocations.

We see the forthcoming expression of people’s will as a chance for Venezuelan political forces to return to a nationwide dialogue to find the solutions necessary for the country’s progress along a stable economic development path.

A group of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) officials will take part in the international support of the Venezuelan elections at that country’s invitation. We sincerely wish friendly Venezuela to have an organised, peaceful and successful election.

For our part, we will continue to strengthen the Russian-Venezuelan strategic partnership.