Patricia Zengerle and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration will maintain support for opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president and expects dozens of other countries to continue recognizing him following Dec. 6 legislative elections that opposition parties plan to boycott, a U.S. envoy said on Tuesday.

Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special representative on Venezuela, made the commitment to Guaido two days after 27 opposition parties announced they would not participate in the elections, saying they would be rigged by President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling socialist party.

The ballot still could pave the way toward a loss of opposition control of Venezuela’s National Assembly, which could complicate Guaido’s standing based on his position as the speaker of the congress.

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