The National Electoral Council approved the initiation of a new recall process against Nicolás Maduro
20 enero 2022


On January 17, the National Electoral Council approved three requests for the initiation of proceedings for a recall referendum against Maduro. The requests were submitted by minority opposition parties. In the next few days, the schedule to collect 4 million signatures, equivalent to 20% of the electoral roll required by law, for a referendum to proceed, which has very little chance of succeeding, will be presented. 

“We simply want the Constitution to be complied with”, said to the press Nelson Chitty La Roche, member of the coalition Movimiento Venezolano por el Revocatorio (Mover) – made up of half a dozen small political organizations -, which presented one of the petitions approved by the CNE to start the procedure. The Constitution establishes that any official elected by popular vote may be removed from office through a recall once half of his term has expired. As Maduro’s second presidential term began in 2019 to end in 2025, this 2022 will be half of his term.

It should be noted that none of the three requests received the support of the main opposition parties. Among the opposition voices close to the main spaces stands out that of José Ignacio Hernández, who was special procurator of the interim government of Juan Guaidó, who stated: “The recall referendum option has important contradictions and deficiencies. If we add to this the arbitrary conditions in force, it becomes clear that today the recall is not a practical option, but it is a tactic that the regime can use in its favor”.

The opposition already tried unsuccessfully in 2016 to call for a recall of the first term of Maduro, first elected in 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez, and then reelected in 2018 in elections that the bulk of the opposition called “fraud” and that were unknown by the opposition, the United States, the European Union and other countries. The process, then, was blocked by the CNE and the pro-government Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ in Spanish). And although the CNE was restructured last year as a result of a negotiation that opened space to authorities close to the opposition, the body continues to be controlled by the ruling party. The only revocatory that prospered was faced by Chávez in 2004 and he overcame it with an overwhelming victory of almost 20 points of advantage.

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