HAVANA TIMES – The Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) announced today that the collection of signatures to trigger a referendum against President Nicolas Maduro will take place from October 26-28, increasing doubts that the vote can take place this year.
To achieve its goal of forcing the referendum, CNE rector Luis Emilio Rondón said the opposition must collect the signatures of 20 percent of the voter registration rolls in each of the 23 regions of the country. The challenge involves obtaining nearly 4 million valid signatures.
If the opposition manages to gather the signatures of 20 percent of the voting rolls, the CNE shall convene the inquiry within 90 days.
According to the Venezuelan electoral law, If the referendum is carried out before January 10, 2017 and Maduro loses, it would set the stage for a new presidential election.
If the vote on the referendum takes place after that date and Maduro loses, the Vice President would replace him until January 2019, when the next regularly scheduled elections are scheduled.