Caracas.- This Thursday night, the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Francisco Carrasquero, announced the approval by unanimous decision of the CNE board, of a resolution that regulates the request and administration of recall referendums on officials elected by popular vote.
According to the resolution, the petitions must be collected in a period of no more than four days, and the CNE will have up to 30 days to verify their validity.
The resolution demands the use of fingerprints in the petitions, along with the petitioner’s name, ID number and address, in order to prevent the possibility of fraud.
The data contained in the petitions will be compared with data in the electoral registry to verify the authenticity of the petitioners. The Venezuelan electoral registry stores fingerprints of all registered citizens.
The CNE will draft and print the petitions to be used.
The verification of the petitions will be done by percentage, therefore, not all the petitions will be checked but only a significant statistical sample.
The resolution calls for the use of an automated voting system. This was one of the issues that divided the CNE’s board for several days, as the opposition was pushing for the use of a manual system.
Publicity through mass media will be regulated to ensure equal access by the political factions.
At each location where petitions will be collected, there will be two observers to guarantee the transparency of the process.
Given that all the requirements are fulfilled, the whole process of recalling an elected official could take up to 97 days.
Under Venezuerlan law, the number of petitions required to request a recall referendum on an elected official must be at least 20% of the number of people who voted on the elections where the official to be recalled was elected.
The CNE said that it is up to the Supreme Tribunal to decide whether or not the opposition can make another request for a referendum on President Chavez, after the signatures collected last February, were rejected by the CNE.
The entire official CNE guidelines can be read in our documents section: Guidelines to Regulate the Procedures of Referenda Recalling the Mandates of Elected Officials