May 16, 2022 3:17 pm

Maduro sabotages the collection of opposition signatures for the recall

Correspondent in Caracas



Under protests from the opposition and voters, the National Electoral Council (CNE) called for next Wednesday the 26th to collect the signatures to activate the request for the recall referendum of Nicolás Maduro. The decision was surprising because in less than a week and after three organizations formally the request to start the process, the CNE quickly announced the schedule, which shows that they already had it prepared. This is the first obstacle on the cumbersome road to recall.

The resolution establishes that the opposition must collect 20% of the signatures of the electoral register of each state to express their will to activate the recall. For this, 1,200 voting centers will be set up throughout the country.

The electoral roll is 21 million registered voters.

The CNE recalls that if this number of demonstrations is achieved “in this stage of reception”, it will then organize the Recall Referendum. Otherwise, “the process will be terminated.”

Although the reception of demonstrations does not constitute an election, but rather a preliminary procedure to comply with the constitutional requirement that a representative number of the voters activate this means of participation, the CNE will ensure the transparency and security of this process. by maintaining guarantees such as the accreditation of witnesses and the performance of audits,” the electoral body explained in a statement.

Unfeasible call

The controversial schedule was decided without the unanimous approval of its five board members. Only three rectors, the Chavistas, agreed to the terms of the process in the face of the rejection expressed by the two remaining rectors as Roberto Picon and Enrique Marquez.

In his protest, the rector Picón considered the call unfeasible. “The schedule for collecting signatures for the recall is not feasible,” he said. “Five voters would have to be processed per minute, for 12 hours, in all the machines in the country, with no margin of error. No time to notify the public of the collection points, which will be defined between Saturday and Monday, January 23,” Rincón explained on Twitter.

interim president Juan Guaido He pointed out that «the dictatorship does not care. It is evident that they are a minority and continue to steal our vote. “What is Maduro’s fear? Not even a few signatures do you allow with a CNE kidnapped by you, you are weaker than anyone thinks. They fear that Venezuela will be Barinas,” added Guaidó.

The also president of the legitimate National Assembly said: “The dictatorship is afraid of the example of the Barines. After their defeat in 2015, the regime and Maduro have hijacked the Venezuelan’s right to vote. The challenge is to defend the will of the people. We continue to fight for conditions for a free and fair election.”

For his part, César Pérez Vivas, former governor of Táchira and representative of the Movement for the Recall (Mover), one of the three applicants for the referendum, said “it is a buffoonery to announce for next Wednesday the opening of 1,200 collection centers for protest demonstrations. will so that 20 million citizens can exercise their right. That’s like putting 1,000 liters of water in a 5-litre container.”

Nicmer Evans, Mover’s representative, denounced that the CNE “allows forms for witnesses in the collection centers for expressions of will without us knowing the centers or being formally notified about the issue… The joke tells itself.”

The requesting organizations are going to challenge the CNE’s announcement to improve the conditions of the process and be able to carry it out according to a schedule.

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