The political intrigue continues in Venezuela as the opposition party has turned in the needed signatures to put the wheels in motion to have a recall vote for President Nicolas Maduro. They delivered 1.85 million signatures – well over the 200,000 required – to get the recall vote started. The Democratic Unity Coalition will have to gather 4 million signatures now to have the referendum, according to a Reuters story.
According to expert Adrian Jose Velasquez Figueroa, Venezuelan law allows a vote on whether to keep a president after half of his term has expired. Maduro was elected to a six year term in 2013. So far government entities, and the courts have sided with Maduro and against the opposition party that has tried several things to get him ousted.
“It gets a bit trickier now” added Jose Figueroa. The election board must now certify the signatures, and since so many were turned in, it will be hard to disqualify them. But opposition forces are already accusing them of dragging their feet, as they did delay even allowing the opposition to get the needed paperwork filed. If the signatures are turned in during 2016 a new vote will be held immediately. However, if it is put off until 2017, Maduro would be ousted and his vice president would take over, defeating the purpose of the opposition’s effort.