Venezuela’s Electoral Council Presents Electoral Schedule for 2005

The National Electoral Council presented its schedule for 2005 elections, which include recall referenda against legislators in April, local elections in June, and National Assembly elections in December.

Caracas, January 27, 2005—Venezuela’s Board of Directors of the National Electoral Council (CNE) decided yesterday that the recall referenda against nine legislators of the National Assembly would take place on Sunday, April 3rd. “We are obligated to hold this recall referendum process for deputies of the opposition in order to ensure that they have fulfilled the requirements established in the law,” said Jorge Rodriguez, the new CNE board president.

The recall referenda against the nine opposition legislators had been postponed several times, following last year’s ratification of the signatures on the petition to convoke such referenda. Chavez supporters had collected signatures for the recall of 36 opposition legislators, but the CNE board validated enough signatures for only nine of the 36 legislators. Opposition activists also collected signatures to hold recall referenda against pro-government legislators, but none of the 30 petitions met the approval of the CNE.

The closing date for the deputies subject to the recall referendum to present their resignation will be the 9th of February. 

In order to carry out the recall referendum of the deputies for the 3rd of April, the CNE plans to install an additional 5 thousand voting machines. 

CNE President Rodriguez also announced that the CNE had established July 17th as the date for municipal and district elections. 

An exact date for the elections of deputies to the National Assembly has not been set yet, but they are scheduled to take place sometime in December, 2005.