The recall saga continues in Venezuela
The saga of the recall petition against President Hugo Chavez continued this week as tensions rose in Venezuela. In theory, the Consjeo Nacional Electoral (CNE) had until tomorrow to decide whether the opposition had or not gathered the required signatures. Instead, the CNE announced late Wednesday that it was sending back for revisions the petitions for all states whose letters begin from A to L.
The reason for this was that the criteria for declaring the forms with the signatures were suddenly changed in the middle of the verifcation process. Basically, all of the forms in which those manning the polling booths wrote out the data for the petitioners, are now set aside to have the technical committee decide. This procedure was followed when gatehring the petition, to insure that the handwriting was legible and no erros were made, since the regulations empahize that the data correspond to the electoral registry and that the signature and fingerprint of the signee be present.
The opposition cried foul, since it believes it is illegal to go back and verify these forms. There were some protests today and there will be a big march on Saturday. CNE Director Jorge Rodriguez said that a decision on the recall will take place before the end of the month and the decision was made in order to use the same procedure on all forms. However, it was unclear why the CNE had not made a decision on whether to admit or not these forms, which would have simplified the problem.
The country remains tense over whether the CNE will or not allow the recall vote against the President. The oppsoition submitted over 3.4 million signatures, but needs only 2.4 million for a valid petition. Thus, over a million signatures would have to be disqualified.
It seems as though Val Dorta was right about an appeal to the supreme court. This is getting crazy. --scottPosted by J.Scott Barnard | February 14, 2004 01:43 PM
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