CARACAS, Venezuela – The Latest on Venezuelan elections (all times local):
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he's interested in seeking re-election as the ruling socialist party seeks to consolidate its grip on power amid a devastating economic crisis.
Maduro's comments Tuesday came shortly after the pro-government constitutional assembly ordered elections be held by the end of April.
Maduro said it would be up to the ruling socialist party to nominate a candidate but that he would throw his hat in the ring should he garner the backing of the revolution.
While it was widely expected Maduro would seek another six-year term until now he hadn't directly expressed that desire publicly.
Polls show Venezuelans that overwhelmingly blame Maduro for widespread food shortages and triple-digit inflation. But his opponents are also struggling following the collapse of last year's protest movement and crackdown on dissent.