VIENNA, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Austria will acknowledge Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president if Nicolas Maduro does not respond to the European Union’s call for a free and fair presidential election, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Twitter.
President Maduro proposed an early parliamentary election on Saturday, seeking to shore up his crumbling rule after a senior general defected to the opposition and tens of thousands thronged the streets in protest at his government.
Kurz’s message on Sunday echoed a statement by France’s European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, who dismissed Maduro’s election proposal as a “farce”.
“I just had a very good phone call with President @jguaido,” Kurz tweeted. “He has our full support to restore democracy in Venezuela.” Venezuelans had suffered too long from mismanagement and a disregard for the rule of law under Maduro, he said.
Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Janet Lawrence