Malta has joined the rest of the EU's member states in acknowledging and supporting Juan Guaidó as President ad interim of Venezuela, in order for him to call for "free, fair, and democratic presidential elections."
A statement issued by the Government said that Malta had reaffirmed its support to the European Union declaration of 26th January 2019 where various Member States urged Nicolás Maduro to take the necessary legal steps for democratic presidential elections within eight days.
On that same day, the EU High Representative/Vice President had issued a statement on behalf of the 28 EU Member States, also calling for the urgent holding of free, transparent, and credible presidential elections.
It warned that if fresh elections with the necessary guarantees were not announced over the next days, the EU would take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership, in line with article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution.
“Subsequently, and in accordance with the provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution, the Republic of Malta joins other European Union Member States in acknowledging and supporting Mr Juan Guaidó, President of the democratically elected National Assembly, as President ad interim of Venezuela, in order for him to call for free, fair, and democratic presidential elections,” the statement read.
Mr Maduro, who was re-elected in early elections in May 2018 and sworn in on 10th January 2019, is not recognised by Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly. Mr Guaidó, the leader of the legislature, declared himself acting president on the 23rd January and said he would assume the powers of the executive branch from there onwards, challenging Mr Maduro’s power.
Mr Guaidó has the support of the US, a number of Latin American countries and now, the EU; however, the legislative body he leads, the Venezuelan National Assembly, was largely rendered powerless by the creation of the National Constituent Assembly in 2017, which is exclusively made up of government-loyalists.