Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Timing in the Venezuelan Recall Effort

Hugo Pérez Hernáiz explains the importance of timing of the recall effort against Nicolás Maduro. This matters because if the referendum takes place after January 10, 2017 (which would be four years from when the term is commonly accepted to have started) then a successful recall would remove Maduro but not prompt new elections. Instead, the Vice President would assume office. If a successful recall occurs before then, there would be new elections. From Article 233 of the constitution:

Si la falta absoluta del Presidente o Presidenta de la República se produce durante los primeros cuatro años del período constitucional, se procederá a una nueva elección universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta días consecutivos siguientes. Mientras se elige y toma posesión el nuevo Presidente o la nueva Presidenta, se encargará de la Presidencia de la República el Vicepresidente Ejecutivo o la Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva.
 En los casos anteriores, el nuevo Presidente o Presidenta completará el período constitucional correspondiente.

This is why the government is already saying there is no way the process can move quickly enough to be done this year. But as Telesur itself notes, the 2004 recall process took about seven months, which would be early December 2016 and one month to spare.

So let's see how long it takes to confirm those signatures.


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