Collection of signatures against Maduro to a minimum after opposition boycott

Several signature collection points to activate a referendum recalling the mandate of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro were empty on Wednesday, amid the opposition’s call not to participate in the campaign because it considered that the conditions set make it impossible. The National Electoral Council (CNE), controlled by Chavismo, announced five days ago that the process to collect 20% of the register of each state, some 4.2 million signatures, would have to be done in a period of 12 hours in 1,200 centers, which opponents and experts considered unviable. The opposition fraction that promoted the mechanism, composed of minority parties gathered in the Venezuelan Movement for the Revocation (Mover), ended up calling not to participate in the face of the CNE’s refusal to extend the deadlines. Read more: For not getting vaccinated against Covid-19, heart transplant denied in the USAIn a tour of eastern Caracas, AFP found practically empty signature collection centers. In a public gym in Petare one person arrived in a span of 15 minutes, while in a nearby square there were less than 10 people.” I went out to participate because we are tired of this government, I want to recall and that is what Venezuela has to do: go all out to the firm,” said Belkys Rivas, a 59-year-old retiree. Mover, which did not have the express support of the main opposition parties, claims that the conditions established by the CNE prevented it from organizing mechanisms for participation. The Constitution provides that any official elected by popular vote may be removed from office through a recall, once half of his term has been completed. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) had also said it would ask for the final list of people who sign, increasing the fear of participating in the face of possible reprisals. The Venezuelan opposition tried in 2016 to activate a recall referendum against Maduro, but the process was blocked by the CNE and the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) after an alleged “fraud” in the collection of the rubrics. The only recall that prospered was faced by the late Hugo Chávez in 2004 and surpassed him with a landslide victory. That year, Chavismo released a list that, according to allegations, was used by the government for layoffs in public companies. Read more: Brothers beat their stepfather to death for abusing their little sister in Texas, USA

Original source in Spanish

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