Delaying recall referendum could push Venezuela over the edge

A key meeting between the regime-dominated National Electoral Council (NEC) and opposition representatives was cancelled for the fifth time last week. Crucially, the meeting was primed to reach an agreement over how to validate more than 1.85 million signatures collected by the Democratic Roundtable Unity (MUD) opposition forum, to support a recall referendum against Venezuela’s current president Nicolas Maduro. 200,000 signatures are necessary to initiate the process. The massive collection of names within just a few days reflects the overwhelming desire of the Venezuelan people to have their voice heard over Maduro’s leadership.

According to the MUD’s spokesperson, Jesus “Chuo” Torrealba, Tibisay Lucena, president of the NEC, inexplicably canceled the meeting 5 minutes before it was scheduled to begin. In response to the sudden cancellation, the MUD held a press conference to condemn the abuse of power by the NEC authorities. While the NEC’s disregard for the legal process is hardly surprising, given the body’s persistent foot-dragging over the recall referendum until now, the MUD called for countrywide demonstrations this week, in an attempt to pressure the NEC into respecting the constitution and adhering to the law. 


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