Germany: Venezuela needs fair, free elections or Guaido should be interim leader

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators clash with police during a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government said on Friday that Venezuela needed to hold free and fair presidential elections or opposition leader Juan Guaido should be declared interim president.

Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning support from U.S. President Donald Trump and some Latin American countries.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cannot be the legitimate leader because the elections that had returned him to office were not fair, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Thomas Escritt