VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro hailed a new era of “coexistence” with the opposition on Tuesday after meeting opposition state governors.
Mr Maduro and Vice-President Tareck El Aissami welcomed four of five governors from the Democratic Action (AD) party — one the biggest parties in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) coalition.
The four were sworn in on Monday by the new National Constituent Assembly, abandoning their boycott of the recently elected body.
The meeting breaks with the Mud’s official stance to refuse to recognise the Constituent Assembly which has the power to supercede the opposition-led Congress.
The governors said they were ready to take their seats on the federal government council, made up of governors, one mayor from each state and directly elected representatives.
“A new era of coexistence, harmony, and co-operation has started with an important sector of the Venezuelan opposition. I welcome it and applaud it,” Mr Maduro said.
The AD leads a moderate faction in the Mud, which incited four months of deadly rioting this spring and summer that left 124 dead.
A fifth governor-elect, Juan Pablo Guanipa of the hardline Justice First Party, had until yesterday to swear in before the new assembly — or a new election would be held in his state of Zulia, assembly member Lisandro Cabello warned.
In an interview with Colombia’s El Tiempo, Mr Guanipa said that the Mud could split over the AD’s U-turn.
And hard-right Popular Will leader Freddy Guevara said his party would boycott mayoral elections early next year.