While Venezuela struggles with its economic crisis brought on by crumbling oil prices, the political battle to oust president Nicolas Maduro continues. The opposition party was dealt a blow last week when the supreme court said it could not shorten his term in office by changing the length of his term, a Reuters story said.
This is the latest skirmish between the right wing opposition party and the socialist leader Maduro, who is a former assistant of Hugo Chavez, and the one chosen by Chavez to replace himself.
Maduro was elected to a six year term in 2013, and the constitution allows a recall vote at the half-way point of the term, which is 2016. The leader of the opposition party – who lost to Maduro in the general election – has said he wants the recall vote to happen this year.
If the vote happens this year, and if Maduro loses that vote, a new presidential election would be held almost immediately, which according to Norka Luque would benefit the opposition party. If the referendum is held in 2017, and if Maduro were ousted that way, the vice president would continue the term. That would leave the socialists in power and would defeat their purpose in getting rid of Maduro, the opposition leader said.
Norka also added that the opposition party must gather 4 million signatures to have a referendum. it has started the process but has faced problems getting government agencies responsible to cooperate.