Opposition to Protest, Push for Recall Referendum in Venezuela

NOVANEWS
  • Christian believers gesture as they chant and pray close to the National Electoral Council (CNE) headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela July 26, 2016.
    Christian believers gesture as they chant and pray close to the National Electoral Council (CNE) headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela July 26, 2016. | Photo: Reuters.
Opposition parties are holding protests to demand the authorities set a date for the next phase of a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela’s opposition MUD coalition is again mobilizing its supporters to demand swifter progress toward a recall referendum. It has called for marches to the National Electoral Council from two points in Caracas, as well as to regional electoral offices around the country.

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The opposition says the National Electoral Council, or CNE, should have confirmed on Tuesday that it had met the requirements of the first phase, when it had to collect valid signatures from more than 1 percent of the electoral roll to set the process in motion. The opposition was also demanding that the CNE fix a date for the next phase, when they will have to get 20 percent of voters to request the recall referendum actually takes place.

The CNE announced on Tuesday evening that the final report on the first batch of signatures had been delivered to the appropriate department and that the full electoral authority would consider it next Monday. The head of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, insists the body is following faithfully every step of the procedures which were laid down for such recall referenda in 2007 and she rejected any possible threat against the body.

The opposition has said it will not take part in a proposed dialogue with the government, which is being promoted by the regional block Unasur, until it gets a firm date and clear procedures for the next phase of the recall.

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