Leading Venezuelan opposition party shuns presidential vote

A leading opposition party in Venezuela says it has ruled out taking part in the April presidential election against President Nicolas Maduro.

Leopoldo Lopez said Friday that his Popular Will party refuses to validate the election, which is being held earlier in the year than usual for Venezuela. He is urging some 20 other parties in the opposition coalition to follow suit.

Opposition leaders continue meetings this weekend trying to reach a decision on whether to participate.

The Democratic Action party's Henry Ramos says he favors the opposition rallying around a single candidate.

Officials loyal to Maduro's socialist administration set the April 22 vote after the collapse of negotiations between the government and opposition leaders aimed at holding a free and fair election.