Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido: Set election date now

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido meets with political and social leaders, in Caracas

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Thursday called on authorities to schedule a date for the country's next presidential vote, after years of bitter clashes with President Nicolas Maduro during a deep economic and social crisis.

"We are demanding a date for a presidential election that means change for Venezuela," Guaido told reporters as he held a march in the capital Caracas. Maduro's government, has to date committed to elections tentatively scheduled for late 2023 or 2024.

Diminished by internal divisions as well as the exile and imprisonment of some of its leaders, Venezuela's political opposition is considering holding primaries for a single candidate to oppose Maduro next June.

It would mark the first opposition participation in a presidential election since 2013, after it boycotted the 2018 vote saying the electoral system was biased in favor of Maduro's ruling socialists, an assertion backed by most international observers at the time.

The afternoon march through a northwestern part of the capital follows months of relatively few street protests.

Washington has signaled it could ease sanctions on Venezuela if Maduro returns to talks with the opposition and takes steps toward holding free elections.

Coalition parties have recently warned they will likely withdraw backing for Guaido's Washington-endorsed interim government in 2023, and instead focus on a candidate to oppose the ruling party in the next elections.

Earlier in October, a block of Latin American countries ramped up pressure to oust Guaido's representative from the Organization of American States.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera; Writing by Sarah Morland; Editing by Josie Kao)