Venezuela protests: Maduro rejects calls for fresh elections
BBC – Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has dismissed calls for new presidential elections amid fresh protests against his leadership.
In a show of defiance, he insisted his victory in polls last spring had been legitimate.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president last week, prompting an escalating power struggle.
In an interview with a Russian news agency, Mr Maduro said he was prepared to hold talks with the opposition.
"I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela," he told Russian news agency RIA in Caracas.
Mr Maduro said that if the US and others wanted a fresh vote, they would have to wait until 2025, but added that he would support early parliamentary elections as "a good form of political discussion".
He added that he was not prepared to accept ultimatums or blackmail, and insisted that he has the backing of Venezuela's military, and accused deserters of conspiring to plot a coup.
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