With the objective of defending peace and the constitution, the Venezuelan executive asked the Electoral Power to take part in the process taking place these days in Venezuela amid a call for a revocation referendum.

A commission named by President Nicolás Maduro has asked the National Election Council (CNE) to attend all the phases for the procedure established by Chapter IV, Article 71 of the 1999 Constitution.

With the objective of defending peace and the constitution, the Venezuelan executive asked the Electoral Power to take part in the process taking place these days in Venezuela amid a call for a revocation referendum.Bringing forward a revocation referendum against President Maduro was the top priority announced by the Venezuelan rightwing upon assuming the majority in Parliament last January.

“The consultation that they are requesting with hatred against this humble worker is not an obligation but a choice. The only obligation here, as it is said, is to elect the president in December 2018,” he noted.

According to Maduro, the new crusade is being encouraged by a fraudulent and evil opposition: “No one will infringe the people’s sovereign rights with violence. Let everyone come to check their signature and have their fingerprints taken. The CNE will tell whether or not the first step was accomplished,” he added.

As established by the Electoral Power, 195,721 signatures are needed in this first phase to ask for the consultation. This figure accounts for one percent of the some 19.8 million people that make up the electoral roll.

Once the collected signatures are verified, another signature collecting phase will begin. This time, nearly four million signatures will be needed to be able to activate the consultation and begin with the referendum.

Jorge Rodríguez, mayor of the Libertador de Caracas municipality and the commission’s coordinator said the objective of the group is to avoid violence. “We’ve come here as defenders of democracy, of the Bolivarian Revolution and of the Maduro government. Our objective is to protect everyone’s right to live in peace,” he stressed.

Rodríguez also explained that, as proposed by constitutional lawyer Hermánn Escarrá, the commission’s legal consultant, they also plan to activate all legal mechanisms to avoid attacks against state-run institutions like the CNE itself.

“We have the right to audit all the signatures. We know that a transcription phase will begin and we will ask to permanently attend that process to make sure that democracy and the constitution are being respected,” he sustained.

As of early May, a total of 2.5 million signatures had been collected out of the 197 000 that should be given in 30 days, according to statistics by the opposition.

Rodríguez disregarded the announcement for considering it a simple “marketing move by the rightwing.“

“My fate is in the people’s hands,” Maduro said referring to the collection of signatures. Those who attempt to generate violence and undermine the country’s stability will abide by the law.

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