Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Reports say Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has banned the country’s main opposition parties from taking part in next year’s presidential election.

It is reported that Mr Maduro said only parties which took part in Sunday’s mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

Leaders from the Justice First, Popular Will and Democratic Action parties boycotted the vote because they said the electoral system was biased.

President Maduro insists the Venezuelan system is entirely trustworthy.

In a speech on Sunday, he said the opposition parties had “disappeared from the political map”.

“A party that has not participated today and has called for the boycott of the elections can’t participate anymore,” he said.

In October, the three main opposition parties announced they would be boycotting Sunday’s vote, saying it only served President Maduro’s ‘dictatorship’.

President Maduro says his party won more than 300 of the 335 mayoral races being contested.

The election board put turn out at 47 percent.

Venezuela is facing an economic crisis characterised by shortages of basic goods and soaring inflation.

-BBC