Venezuela's governing socialist party has officially tapped President Nicolas Maduro as its candidate for this year's election.
The Constituent Assembly in Caracas is calling for polls by the end of April. President Nicolas Maduro says he's willing to seek another term in office.
Socialist Party Vice President Diosdado Cabello announced the unanimous decision on Friday. The government has said the election will be held by the end of April.
Maduro succeeded the late President Hugo Chavez, leading the oil-rich country, which is under US sanctions and has fallen into an economic crisis marked by soaring inflation and shortages of food and medicine.
The United States says it will reject the "snap" election. Several Latin American countries condemned holding a vote before Maduro's government and its political opposition complete negotiations aimed at resolving the crisis.
Venezuela's opposition coalition has not selected a candidate or decided if it will participate.
Maduro says that in his second term he will wean Venezuela's economy off of oil production.
Source: AP news agency