UN panel rejects Venezuela’s request to delay voting

Venezuela’s UN Human Rights Council has voted against Venezuela’s appeal to delay its vote on its new constitution and its right to hold an early presidential election.

The council voted 4-3 in favor of Venezuela’s petition to delay the vote. 

Venezuela’s motion to delay was supported by 11 countries, including the United States, France, China, Britain, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. 

The vote came after a meeting between Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, according to a statement from the council’s press office. 

On Monday, Maduro and Guterre signed a decree granting Maduro extended presidential powers in the face of opposition and opposition parties that have accused him of using his power to crush dissent and weaken the country’s opposition. 

At a separate meeting in Vienna on Tuesday, Guterresh called on Venezuelan leaders to return to negotiations, according the statement. 

During the meeting, Gutersres stressed that Venezuela was not seeking to overturn the constitution, but to implement it in a way that will “give legitimacy to the elections and the elections process that was authorized by the people.” 

Guterres told Maduro that his government would not submit to the Venezuelan people, who he said were ready to participate in the elections, the statement said.