|Venezuela’s government on Monday launched its latest counter-maneuver against efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro, announcing fresh legal challenges against a petition for a referendum on removing him. – AFP/VNA Photo |Viet Nam News
CARACAS – Venezuela’s government on Monday launched its latest counter-maneuver against efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro, announcing fresh legal challenges against a petition for a referendum on removing him.
Maduro’s side alleged fraud in the gathering of signatures for the petition, which the opposition says was signed by hundreds of thousands of people.
"We are going to file complaints and legal action against however many fraudulent incidents there have been," said Jorge Rodriguez, an official appointed by Maduro to oversee the opposition’s referendum drive.
The opposition blames Maduro for a deep economic crisis that has caused widespread food shortages and deadly looting.
The government had already filed a case against the referendum bid at the Supreme Court two weeks ago.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters have pushed ahead by submitting fingerprints to authenticate their signatures on the petition.
Rodriguez told a news conference the latest wave of legal challenges would be filed at local level in towns and states.
The national electoral board has said it will announce by July 26 whether enough signatures have been authenticated for the referendum drive to proceed.
If that happens, Maduro’s opponents will have to collect four million more signatures to call a full referendum.
The opposition is rushing to complete the recall process by January 10, the cutoff date to trigger new elections.
After that date, a successful recall vote would simply pass power to Maduro’s hand-picked vice president. — AFP