Articles about voting issues in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Venezuela: Protesters demand elections as Maduro offers new constitution | Miami Herald

Facing almost daily protest calling for new elections, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday offered what the opposition called a fraudulent alternative: a new constitution. Speaking to followers in the midst of a May Day march, Maduro said he would be calling a “constitutional assembly” that would replace the 1999 constitution forged by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez. Maduro said the deep reform was needed to bring “peace to the republic,” and that he would be providing details about the process late Monday. But even before the plan had solidified, the opposition was rejecting it as yet another distraction. María Corina Machado, the leader with the Vente Venezuela party, said the people wouldn’t stop protesting what she called Maduro’s “mafioso dictatorship.”

Full Article: Venezuelans demand elections as Maduro offers new constitution | Miami Herald.

Venezuela: As president calls for new constitution, Venezuela veers once again toward political chaos | Los Angeles Times

Already reeling from massive antigovernment marches in recent weeks, Venezuela is bracing for more demonstrations Wednesday as increasingly vocal activists protest the surprise plan by President Nicolas Maduro to draft a new constitution. Opposition leaders condemned the proposal as an antidemocratic move that will only aggravate the country’s ongoing political crisis. In an announcement at a May Day rally Monday, Maduro said he would seek to replace the constitution pushed through in 2000 by his late predecessor, Hugo Chavez. The new document would be drafted at an assembly consisting of 500 delegates, 250 of whom will be selected from “communal” groups recognized by Maduro’s government, which will likely assure his control over the final version, opponents said.

Full Article: As president calls for new constitution, Venezuela veers once again toward political chaos - LA Times.

Venezuela: Maduro tries Chavez’s constitution tack in bid to delay elections | Reuters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shocked many of his countrymen on Monday by calling for a constitutional assembly in a move similar to one his predecessor and mentor Hugo Chavez used almost 20 years ago. But there is a key difference: while Chavez enjoyed broad popularity following his 1998 election, Maduro faces slim odds at the ballot box and critics say he is calling the assembly precisely to avoid or delay free elections. After he took office in 1999, Chavez led a campaign to create an assembly that rewrote the constitution, letting him name allies to crucial posts such as the Supreme Court. He thus consolidated an already strong hand in institutional disputes with adversaries during his 14-year rule.

Full Article: Venezuela's Maduro tries Chavez's constitution tack in bid to delay elections | The Japan Times.

Venezuela: Maduro sees local elections later in 2017 | Reuters

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he expected delayed state polls to be held this year, although opponents have demanded a broader general election to replace him in protests that have sparked 29 deaths. The postponed vote for governors of Venezuela’s 23 states – originally slated for 2016 – is one of a litany of opposition grievances against Maduro whom foes accuse of becoming a dictator and wrecking the economy. During his weekly TV program, “Sundays With Maduro,” the 54-year-old socialist leader said gubernatorial elections would happen later this year although the opposition’s real agenda was to topple him with a U.S.-backed coup.

Full Article: Venezuela's Maduro sees local elections later in 2017 | Reuters.

Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro says yes to Venezuela elections, but not for president | AFP

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has called for local elections in Venezuela — but not at the presidential level, which millions in his strife-torn nation are demanding. Maduro in his weekly television address yesterday endorsed voting planned for later this year at the mayoral and gubernatorial level. “Elections — yes, I want elections now,” he said. “That is what I say as the head of state, and as the head of government,” Maduro declared during his broadcast, which aired after three weeks of street protests that have claimed the lives of 20 Venezuelans. 

Full Article: Nicolas Maduro says yes to Venezuela elections, but not for president | The Indian Express.

Venezuela: Socialists’ election strategy? Block adversaries | Reuters

Venezuela’s move to bar two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles from public office for 15 years looked like an unusually brazen blow at the opposition but is just the logical extension of a strategy that has emerged as the last, best hope of President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialists for maintaining power. A nearly identical maneuver was used ten years ago to halt the rise of former mayor Leopoldo Lopez, who in polls remains one of the most influential opposition leaders despite being jailed three years ago for his role in anti-government protests. The situation suggests the Socialists may continue to lean on Comptroller Manuel Galindo, accused by the opposition of being a government puppet, to clear the playing field of potential challengers. The election, still unscheduled, must be held by the end of 2018.

Full Article: Venezuela Socialists' election strategy? Block adversaries | Reuters.

Venezuela: Opposition cries ‘coup’ as court seizes legislative powers | Miami Herald

In a move rejected throughout the region and decried as a “coup” by the opposition, Venezuela’s Supreme Court effectively shut down congress, saying it would assume all legislative functions amid its contention that legislators are operating outside of the law. The decision will undoubtedly increase tensions in the South American nation where the opposition-controlled congress was seen as a last bastion of dissent. The move is also a slap at the international community, which just this week was pressing the socialist administration to respect the role of the legislature and to hold new elections. As news spread about the ruling, condemnation was swift. Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro said it was tantamount to a “self-inflicted coup” and called for an emergency meeting of the permanent council. Peru broke off diplomatic relations, and the United States, Mexico and Colombia condemned the move.

Full Article: Venezuela opposition cries ‘coup’ as court seizes legislative powers | Miami Herald.

Venezuela: Government ‘terrified’ of calling election | CBC

The late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and his allies triumphed nearly every time voters went to the ballot box. But Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, appears to have lost interest in testing the will of the people. Amid a severe economic crisis, opinion polls show that support for Maduro and for ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) politicians is collapsing. In response, electoral authorities — whom analysts claim take orders from the executive branch — have over the past year shelved or delayed elections large and small. 

Full Article: Venezuela government 'terrified' of calling election - World - CBC News.

Venezuela: Congress declares that Maduro has staged a coup | Associated Press

Venezuela’s Congress on Sunday declared that the government had staged a coup by blocking a drive to recall President Nicolas Maduro in a raucous legislative session that was interrupted when his supporters stormed the chamber. Opposition lawmakers vowed to put Maduro on trial after a court friendly to his socialist administration on Thursday suspended their campaign to collect signatures to hold a referendum on removing the deeply-unpopular president. Lawmaker Julio Borges said the opposition-led congress is now in open rebellion after a majority of its members voted that the decision constituted a coup with government participation. “We will bring a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro to get to the bottom of his role in the break with democracy and human rights here,” Borges said.

Full Article: Venezuelan Congress declares that Maduro has staged a coup - KOAM TV 7.

Venezuela: Electoral Panel Halts Effort to Recall President Nicolás Maduro | The New York Times

Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition on Friday angrily called on citizens to take to the streets after the country’s electoral commission suspended a drive for a referendum to remove President Nicolás Maduro. Speaking to a packed news conference, Henrique Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, described the commission’s decision as a “coup” intended to keep Mr. Maduro in power. “We warned that this could happen, and this is exactly what we wanted to avoid with the referendum,” Mr. Capriles said. “This only deepens the crisis that Venezuelans are living through.” The battle over the recall movement appeared to escalate the conflict between the opposition and Mr. Maduro’s leftist government. Although the opposition controls the country’s congress, Mr. Maduro and his allies dominate all the other institutions of government, including the courts and the electoral commission. Mr. Maduro, blamed by many Venezuelans for the country’s economic collapse, has described the recall effort as a coup attempt.

Full Article: Venezuelan Electoral Panel Halts Effort to Recall President Nicolás Maduro - The New York Times.

Venezuela: Officials deny opposition a recall vote in 2016 | Associated Press

Election officials on Wednesday quashed the opposition’s hope of holding a recall referendum that could wrest Venezuela’s presidency from the ruling socialist party. Officials said a national vote on removing President Nicolas Maduro could take place if the opposition gathers enough signatures over the course of three days at the end of October, but add that a referendum would be held in the first quarter of 2017. That timing is crucial. A successful vote to oust Maduro this year would trigger a presidential election and give the opposition a shot at winning power. If Maduro were to be voted out in 2017, though, his vice president would finish the presidential term, leaving the socialists in charge. With Venezuela’s economy in crisis, with soaring inflation and widespread shortages, polls say a majority of Venezuelans want Maduro gone.

Full Article: Venezuela officials deny opposition a recall vote in 2016.

Venezuela: Huge crowds march in Venezuela to force recall of President Nicolás Maduro | The Washington Post

Tens of thousands of chanting protesters marched Thursday in a major demonstration in the Venezuelan capital aimed at forcing a vote on recalling socialist President Nicolás Maduro. Opposition parties hailed the protest, dubbed the “Taking of Caracas,” as the beginning of a new stage in their struggle to end the “revolution” started in 1999 by Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez. Maduro’s popularity has plunged as the economy of this oil-rich country has sharply contracted and hunger has grown widespread. The government, clearly nervous, arrested several prominent opposition activists in the days leading up to the protest and barred at least six foreign journalists from entering the country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Fearing violence, downtown shops closed, and police in yellow vests took up positions around the city. But the demonstration had an upbeat note, with participants dancing and joking, even as their chants reflected growing frustration with the government. “There’s no eggs, there’s no chicken, there’s nothing here,” one group yelled. Others shouted: “It’s going to fall, it’s going to fall, the government is going to fall.”

Full Article: Huge crowds march in Venezuela to force recall of President Nicolás Maduro - The Washington Post.

Venezuela: Recall clears hurdle, but obstacles remain | AFP

Venezuela’s opposition got a green light Monday to proceed with efforts to remove President Nicolas Maduro in a referendum, but the crumpling oil giant still appeared far from holding a vote. The National Electoral Council (CNE) said the opposition had collected nearly double the requirement of 200,000 valid signatures on a petition demanding the leftist leader face a recall referendum. But it did not set a date for the next stage in the lengthy process, in which the opposition must collect four million signatures in just three days. And, in a boost to the Maduro camp’s claims of rampant fraud, the council’s chief, Tibisay Lucena, said the authorities had detected more than 1,000 apparently fraudulent signatures. The opposition blames Maduro for an economic implosion that has seen severe food shortages, hyperinflation, violence and looting erupt in Venezuela, a once-booming country that is home to the world’s largest oil reserves.

Full Article: Venezuela recall clears hurdle, but obstacles remain.

Venezuela: Election board okays opposition recall push first phase | Reuters

Venezuela’s election board said on Monday the opposition successfully collected 1 percent of voter signatures in every state in the first phase of their push for a referendum to recall socialist President Nicolas Maduro. But council head Tibisay Lucena asked for a judicial probe into some apparent cases of voter identity fraud, and did not name a date for the next phase, to collect 20 percent of signatures. The timing is crucial because if Maduro were to lose a referendum this year, as polls indicate he would due to an economic crisis, that would trigger a new presidential vote, giving the opposition a chance to end 17 years of socialism. But should he lose a referendum next year, Maduro, 53, would be replaced by his vice president, maintaining the Socialist Party in power until the OPEC nation’s next presidential election scheduled for the end of 2018.

Full Article: Venezuela election board okays opposition recall push first phase | Reuters.

Venezuela: Government stalling recall vote to keep power, opposition claims | The Guardian

Venezuela’s opposition has demanded authorities move forward on a referendum to force Nicolás Maduro from office, amid complaints that the government is digging in its heels to delay the process. Groups of opposition members attempted to march to the headquarters of the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas to demand it set a date by which they would have to collect signatures of nearly 4 million voters to trigger a presidential recall. Police and national guard barricades blocked the way, leading marchers to retreat. “We did not come to confront the police, just to demand a date for the 20%,” said Henrique Capriles, a leading opposition figure and former presidential candidate, referring the percentage of the electorate they would have. The CNE had been expected to announce on Tuesday whether referendum organizers had managed to collect enough valid signatures – 1% of the electorate – to put a process in motion to force a recall vote on Maduro. But late on Tuesday, officials said they would meet on 1 August to further discuss the issue.

Full Article: Venezuela government stalling recall vote to keep power, opposition claims | World news | The Guardian.

Venezuela: Maduro goes to court to block recall referendum | BBC

Venezuela’s government has asked the Supreme Court to reject the opposition’s proposal to hold a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office.
It accused the leaders of the recall referendum movement of fraud. On Friday the National Electoral Council (CNE) declared more than 600,000 signatures on a petition for the referendum invalid. The opposition says the electoral authorities are biased against them. Venezuela is on the brink of economic collapse, facing high inflation and the shortage of food and basic goods. The opposition blames the Socialist policies of Mr Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, for the country’s economic decline.

Full Article: Venezuela recall: Maduro goes to court to block referendum - BBC News.

Venezuela: Maduro vows no recall referendum before next year | AFP

Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Saturday that no referendum on ending his administration would be held until next year. Maduro’s opponents are racing to call a referendum before January 10, as a successful recall vote before that deadline would trigger new elections rather than transfer power to the vice president. If the opposition meets all requirements with their bid to oust Maduro, “the recall referendum will be held next year. Period,” the leftist populist said. For months now, Maduro has faced increasing hostility, with opponents accusing him of driving oil-rich Venezuela to the brink of economic collapse and launching a marathon process to call a vote on ousting him from office. “We must respect whatever the electoral authorities” decide, Maduro said at a pro-government event in Caracas.

Full Article: Maduro vows no Venezuela recall referendum before next year .

Venezuela: Opposition protests Supreme Court protest ban | UPI

The Venezuelan opposition on Wednesday protested against a Supreme Court decision that banned protests near the offices of the National Electoral Council. Venezuela’s high court, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, recently banned demonstrations defined as “unauthorized acts, marches, protests, gatherings,” as well as “violent demonstrations” near the offices of the electoral council, known as the CNE. The Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD, opposition coalition in the past month has led protests nationwide demanding the CNE comply with the opposition’s efforts to initiate a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro.

Full Article: Venezuelan opposition protests Supreme Court protest ban -

Venezuela: Government Plays Hardball To Block Opposition’s Recall Effort | NPR

Blowing horns and chanting slogans, protesters gather outside a Caracas subway station. They plan to march to the National Electoral Council to demand that authorities hold a recall election. But it’s a sparse crowd. Shortly before the protest began, officials loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro shut down subway stations in this part of the city. University student Daniel Barrios insists this was done to disrupt the march. “The government is always trying to make us look small,” he says. “You can see here the subway, and you can see the station’s closed. And that’s a predicament, because they need to take the subway to come to these types of demonstrations.”

Full Article: Venezuela's Government Plays Hardball To Block Opposition's Recall Effort : Parallels : NPR.

Venezuela: Panel Clears the Way for a Process to Oust Nicolás Maduro | The New York Times

Venezuela’s electoral commission on Tuesday released documents that would allow opposition politicians to collect signatures and formally begin a process aimed at removing President Nicolás Maduro from office. The decision by the commission — which is controlled by Mr. Maduro’s Socialist government and previously resisted handing over the papers — lifted hopes of the opposition politicians, who control the National Assembly and have vowed to oust the president by the end of the year. It made Venezuela the second country in the region undergoing an effort to remove its leader. This month, Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff over accusations that she misused state money.

Full Article: Venezuela Panel Clears the Way for a Process to Oust Nicolás Maduro - The New York Times.