The baroquely —and unnecessarily— tortuous and hyperbureaucratic process to demand a Recall Referendum against president Maduro hits a bit of a milestone today: July 26th is the deadline for the CNE to finally certify whether it was able to validate the already verified signatures from 1% of voters and advance to the next stage of the process.
You might think that’s good news. You might think we’re now ready to move on to the next stage in the process, where CNE sets up signature collection posts throughout the country and 20% of registered voters have to come forward to officially demand a recall.
But if you seriously think Tibisay Lucena is going set a date for that all-important 20% signature collection process today…you have another think coming.
Of course CNE wouldn’t do that, that would be too damn sensible. Why save time when wasting time is the heart of your job description?
Instead, CNE will likely announce that the opposition coalition, MUD, as the organization that organized the previous 1% signature drive, does indeed legitimately represent enough voters to officially petition, formally, in writing, for CNE to convoke the next stage in the process. Once that written communication is received, CNE then has 15 calendar days to consider it. (I’m not making any of this up — they are.)
And after officially replying to this formal written request, CNE has another five working (not calendar) days to set a date for the 20% signature collection. It could, in other words, be the second half of August before a date is even announced for the 20% collection.
After signatures are collected, CNE must hold the recall vote within 90 days. So for the recall to be called before January 10th — the 4th year in Maduro’s term — the 20% signature collection has to be carried out before October 10th.
Will it be?
I strongly suspect only one person’s opinion counts in this regard. And that person’s name rhymes with Sandino Roques.