Promoters of revoking Maduro’s presidency challenge election entity format

Caracas, Jan 24 (EFE).- The organizers of the Venezuelan Movement for the Recall (Mover) on Monday challenged the format approved by the National Electoral Council (CNE) for collecting signatures, a process scheduled for Wednesday and – if enough signatures are gathered – would allow a nationwide consultation to be held on revoking the mandate of President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuelan activist Nicmer Evans, one of those pushing for recalling Maduro, thus ending his presidency, told reporters at the entrance to the CNE headquarters that the time period for collecting signatures approved last Friday “was a completely unconstitutional act that runs counter the principles of popular participation.”

Because of that, they introduced “formally, a document that allows the challenge of – or requesting the revision of – the entire time schedule.”

The CNE announced last Friday that it had set Wednesday as the day that citizens can collect – over the course of 12 hours – signatures to call a referendum on removing the president from office. If 20 percent of the registered voters in each state were to sign the petition, this would trigger the referendum.

“According to the decision of the electoral body, the day for (collecting signatures) for the revocation referendum will occur on Jan. 26 … between 6 am and 6 pm,” said the CNE in a press release.

The CNE decided that the electoral register that will be used to validate the signatures will be same one that was approved for the Nov. 21, 2021, regional and local elections, on which 21,929,987 voters were listed.

“To fulfill the requirement for activating the presidential revocation referendum 20 percent of the electoral list in each of the (states) will have to be attained, as established by the Supreme Court of Justice’s Constitutional Chamber in 2016,” the CNE added.

That is, in every Venezuelan state revocation organizers will have to receive the support of 20 percent of the registered electorate.

Evans said that they had a meeting with CNE chief Tania D’Amelio and demanded that an “urgent” meeting of the entity’s board of directors be called for Monday to deal with the request and provide a formal response regarding the procedure to be followed.

“As long as there is no response regarding the issue of the request to modify the timetable, we reserve the right to take additional actions along those lines,” he added.

The activist emphasized that he and his colleagues are requesting that the rule for convening revocation referendums that has prevailed since 2007 be used.

“The rule clearly establishes that a minimum of 15 days must pass so that the citizenry can be informed regarding the (signature collection) sites, and it also says that the promoters must be consulted to be able to achieve the objective of setting up the … sites,” he said.

In addition, Evans said that he and his colleagues have the right to challenge or revise the process and have 45 days to agree to it.

“Awaiting this response, we are planning the next steps to take” on the matter, he said.

EFE sc/gdl/cpy/bp

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