Caracas, May 5, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Opposition legislator Freddy Guevara announced on Tuesday that the right-wing controlled National Assembly (AN) would pursue impeachment proceedings against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for an alleged breach of the country’s constitution.
“The AN will seek impeachment against Nicolas Maduro for violation of the constitution,” the lawmaker stated via his Twitter account, offering no further details.
Guevara, a member of Leopoldo Lopez’s far right Popular Will party, made the announcement a day after Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the MUD, delivered 1.85 million signatures to the National Electoral Council (CNE), far surpassing the threshold of 1 percent of the electorate required to begin the recall referendum process.
The heterogenous opposition coalition– composed of over a dozen distinct parties with diverse ideologies and programs– has in recent weeks converged around a recall referendum as the favored option to unseat the democratically elected Chavista President Nicolas Maduro.
In February, the MUD unveiled a four-pronged strategy to oust Maduro, including street protests to force his resignation, a constitutional amendment shortening the presidential term by two years, a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, and a recall referendum.
However, a string of poorly attended street demonstrations and a recent Supreme Court ruling declaring the proposed amendment only applicable to future presidential terms has led the coalition to rally behind the recall referendum.
On Sunday, the MUD claimed it had successfully collected 2.5 million signatures for a recall in a move that was praised by Guevara, who has called for “popular pressure” to ensure that the referendum is held this year despite time constraints.
The lawmaker’s subsequent announcement of impeachment proceedings against Maduro marks the first time that this option for unseating the leftist head of state has been floated by the Venezuelan opposition, revealing possible cracks within the coalition.
Neither Guevara nor any other opposition leader has made any further statements regarding the impeachment of the president.