Nicolas Maduro says yes to Venezuela elections, but not for president

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday called for local elections in Venezuela, but not at the presidential level demanded by millions in the conflict-torn country.

Maduro, in his weekly television address, supported holding elections later this year at the level of mayors and provincial governors.

“Yes to the elections, I want the election now,” Maduro said in the speech, which comes three weeks after the protests that killed 20 people. “That’s what I say as head of state and prime minister.”

On Saturday, peaceful and silent demonstrations were held throughout Venezuela, where demonstrators wore white clothing in honor of those who lost their lives. There are many planned demonstrations for Monday, in an attempt to push Maduro to give up power.

Presidential elections are due to take place in Venezuela next year and the government has ruled out presidential elections this year as opposition leaders demand.

Opponents blame Maduro for the worsening economic situation, and the country is now under the brunt of shortages of food and medical staples. The spark that triggered the daily demonstrations was the Supreme Court’s attempt to take over the Congressional authorities controlled by the opposition