CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s government has set a date for long-delayed gubernatorial elections that the opposition is heavily favored to win.

Electoral authorities say voting in all 23 states will take place Oct. 15.

Monday’s announcement came a day after the main opposition alliance held primaries to select candidates to run against some of socialist President Nicolas Maduro’s closest allies.

The decision to participate in the elections has sparked tensions within the opposition since the government seated a special assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution amid allegations that the elections to choose delegates were marked by fraud.

The gubernatorial elections were supposed to have taken place last year but were scrapped as the country’s economic problems mounted and polls indicated Venezuelans heavily favored removing Maduro before the end of his term.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.