Venezuela opposition candidate to appear on presidential ballot for three parties

By Vivian Sequera

CARACAS (Reuters) -Venezuela unity opposition candidate Edmundo Gonzalez will appear as three parties' candidate on the ballot for July presidential elections, after two additional parties said on Tuesday they were able to list him in their slots.

Gonzalez, 74, was already on the ballot for the Democratic Unity party, which originally registered him as a placeholder while the Unitary Platform coalition decided who will carry its banner, after primary winner Maria Corina Machado was banned from office and her alternate was unable to register.

The Unitary Platform, which is made up of a dozen opposition political groups, decided on Friday, hours before the deadline for registering substitute candidates expired, that former ambassador Gonzalez would be its candidate.

President Nicolas Maduro, who has been in power for more than a decade, will appear on the ballot for the July 28 contest for 13 different parties.

Two other parties, A New Time and the Movement for Venezuela, said on social media on Tuesday afternoon that the electoral authority had allowed them to list Gonzalez in their ballot slots.

A New Time removed its previous candidate Manuel Rosales from the ballot, after Rosales pledged his backing for Gonzalez.

"With unity we will achieve change," said Movement for Venezuela's general secretary Simon Calzadilla in a video on X.

Activists and countries including the United States have accused the Maduro government of reneging on deals reached with the opposition in October to ensure free and fair elections.

On April 17 the U.S reimposed oil sanctions on Venezuela, which it had relaxed in October after the agreement was signed.

(Reporting by Vivian SequeraWriting by Julia Symmes Cobb)