Maduro Goes to Court to Block Referendum

Maduro Goes to Court to Block ReferendumMaduro Goes to Court to Block Referendum

Venezuela’s government has asked the Supreme Court to reject the opposition’s proposal to hold a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office. It accused the leaders of the recall referendum movement of fraud.

On Friday, the National Electoral Council (CNE) declared more than 600,000 signatures on a petition for the referendum invalid. The opposition says the electoral authorities are biased against them.

Venezuela is on the brink of economic collapse, facing high inflation and the shortage of food and basic goods. The opposition blames the Socialist policies of Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, for the country’s economic decline.

The government says the country’s economic elite, backed up by conservative forces in the United States and other countries, has been plotting to topple the government, BBC reported.

One of Maduro’s closest allies, Jorge Rodriguez, has been appointed to check whether there are any irregularities in the recall referendum process.

“We have found a huge fraud against the Constitution,” he said, after beginning legal action at the Supreme Court. “Stop lying to the international community and stop lying to the Venezuelan people.”  He stressed once again that it would not be possible to hold the referendum this year as the opposition wishes.

On Saturday, Maduro said the recall referendum would be held in 2017 if the opposition met the legal requirements. “If they don’t meet the requirements, there will be no recall referendum, full stop,” said Maduro.