The right-leaning opposition party in Venezuela finally got its formal start to a petition drive to have a referendum to oust president Nicolas Maduro. The opposition party has been trying for months to get the needed paperwork to get started, and finally got it last week according to a story in Reuters.
Last Wednesday, as protests of shortages in the deepening economic crisis escalated, meetings were held around the nation to get petition drives started. The party must gather one percent of voters signatures – about 200,000 – to get the wheels moving. After that the party will have to gather four million signatures to start a referendum.
If a referendum is held Adrian Jose Velasquez Figueroa explains that voters will have the option of keeping our ousting Maduro, who was elected to a six year term in 2013. The constitution allows a referendum after three years. Falling oil prices have wrecked the economy, causing shortages in food, water and electricity.
Timing is important to the opposition party added Jose Velasquez, who won control of congress in last year’s elections. If the referendum is held this year, at the halfway point, and if voters oust Maduro, a new election will be held. If they are not able to do it his year, and have to wait until 2017, the vice president will finish the term. The vice president is a Socialist, as Maduro is, so there would not be much point in having a referendum then.