Venezuelan Opposition Corrals Maduro with Recall Referendum

The opposition must collect at least four million signatures to consolidate the recall referendum against Nicolas Maduro (Static)
The opposition must collect at least four million signatures to consolidate the recall referendum against Nicolas Maduro (Static)

EspañolThe Venezuelan opposition was finally able to get the National Electoral Council (CNE) to approve and validate the signatures required to legitimize the recall referendum against Nicolás Maduro’s administration.

The CNE confirmed Monday, August 1 — at that the request of the Democratic Unity Roundtable — that it had collected and validated one percent of signatures in the electoral registry of each state. President Tibisay Lucena said 98 percent of the 408,000 signatures collected were validated correctly and that, supposedly, they were 0.3 percent “identity fraud.”

The next phase requires 20 percent of the signatures, though no date has been set to reach this mark.

Time is a vital factor in this process, as the polls indicated that Maduro’s referendum must happen in 2016 for it to be valid.

If the referendum is made in 2017, Maduro would be automatically replaced by his vice president, in this case Aristobulo Isturiz, who would remain in power until at least the next presidential election.

Venezuela is fighting against rampant inflation, chronic shortages of basic goods and medicines and extremely high crime rates. Maduro, a former bus driver and the foreign minister before the death of Chavez, blamed the drop in oil prices on an “economic war” by the opposition.

The leaders of the opposition said Tibisay Lucena must set a date for the collection of 20 percent of the required signatures soon. That means four million voters are needed to finally trigger the recall referendum.

“The best Venezuela is coming. Just missing a step,” wrote opposition leader Freddy Guevara on his Twitter account.

The former presidential candidate and governor of the state of Miranda Henrique Capriles has been the main driver of this electoral request, calling the country to increase social pressure for the next phase. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Venezuela “not to play games delaying” the referendum.

Maduro’s administration has promised there will be no referendum this year.

The Supreme Court ruled the activities of the National Assembly controlled by the opposition would be reduced “to zero” until the seats of three opposition that won the parliamentary elections legally retire.

Source: The Guardian

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