Political battles intensify as recall campaign exceeds target


The political battles continue in Venezuela with the opposition controlled parliament continuing to put pressure on President Nicolás Maduro and his government.

Yesterday the National Assembly voted to remove Rodolfo Marco Torres as the minister responsible for food shortages. The move is unlikely to see the removal of the minister because the president controls all of the state institutions including the Supreme Court which has blocked all legislation passed by the opposition since they took control of parliament in last year’s general election.

Meanwhile, food shortages are getting worse and power shortages mean that most places get around four hours of power a day. That in turn has led to factory closures and last week the government announced that civil servants should only come to work on a Monday and Tuesday.

As the economic crisis deepens so the disillusionment with the president and government grows. A pollster has confirmed that around 72% of Venezuelan’s now reject the Maduro administration and 66% would like him to resign. However, 47.5% of those interviewed said that they were unhappy with the work of the National Congress.

Although the latter statistic might result in people being discouraged to get involved in a recall referendum, the opposition announced yesterday that they had gathered three times the number of signatures required on a petition to kick start the recall process. The opposition received 600,000 signatures on the first day of the petition, three times the 200,000 needed. But they will continue with the petition in the hope that they can get one million signatures by next week.

After that the petition will be presented to the National Electoral Council (CNE). If the petition is accepted then the opposition will be given just three days to gather four million signatures to trigger the recall vote which would then most likely be held at the end of the year.

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