EspañolVenezuela’s recall referendum against President Nicolás Maduro has officially been pushed back to 2017.
President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena said Tuesday, August 9 that the referendum spearheaded by the Venezuelan opposition will be held next year because the last of the required signatures can only be carried out “at the end next October.”
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The recall referendum is scheduled to be held 90 days after the collection of the 20 percent of the signatures needed from electoral roll, which means the referendum will take place between February and March 2017.
Lucena reiterated that she will not tolerate pressure to expedite the process.
For months, the opposition has been pressuring the CNE to carry out the referendum before the end of 2016; if carried out next year, Maduro’s vice president automatically assumes office through 2019 should the people vote for removal.
Governor of Miranda and opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonzki condemned the decision to begin the next step of the process next year.
Un ejercicio de cinismo y mentiras el de la Sra Lucena! Creyendo que somos tontos los venezolanos! El Pueblo quiere fecha y RR16!
— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) August 9, 2016
An exercise in cynicism and lies is that of Ms Lucena! Believing Venezuelans are dumb! The people want a date for the referendum in 2016.
Capriles also confirmed the massive mobilization trying to be put together by the opposition for the first of September.
“The country will not accept a ‘could.’ It is our constitutional right and we will enforce it. We will mobilize from all over Venezuela,” he said on social media.
Journalist Eugenio Martinez said that according to announcements made by the CNE, the recall could eventually take place between February and March 2017.
“With the 20 percent collection happening at the end of October, if CNE continues to establish unnecessarily long waiting periods, the recall referendum could take place between February and March,” Martinez said on his Twitter account.
Lucena ratifica lo que explicaba esta mañana: Recolección de firmas del 20% a finales de octubre (fecha tentativa: 25, 26 y 27)
— Eugenio G. Martínez (@puzkas) August 9, 2016
Lucena is ratifying what I explained this morning: collection of signatures of 20 percent in the end of October (possible dates: 25, 26 and 27)
However, former Director of the National Electoral Council Vicente Diaz said even with the announced dates, the timeline should allow the referendum to take place this year.
“The recall referendum is absolutely alive, they can’t not kill it,” he said on his Twitter account.
Diaz said with certainty that there is time to make the referendum.
“Even with those dates we can do it in 2016,” he said.
El trabajo de este CNE es desmoralizarnos, el nuestro mantenernos firmes en la lucha por conseguir el Revocatorio #TibisayNoTeEquivoques
— Salvatore Lucchese (@sllucchese) August 9, 2016
The job of this CNE is to demoralize us. Our job is to stay firm in the fight to get the Revocation Referendum
¡Todo es posible si el pueblo actúa! ¡La presión popular hará que el Revocatorio sea este año 2016! #TibisayNoteEquivoques
— Juan Pablo Guanipa (@JuanPGuanipa) August 9, 2016
All is possible if the people act! Popular pressure will bring the Revocatory Referendum for 2016
NO PERMITAMOS ESTO. CALLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! CALLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! CALLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! CALLEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! #TibisayNoTeEquivoques
— VG (@gilvivi_29) August 9, 2016
Let’s not allow this. To the streets! To the streets! To the streets!