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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

    Court Makes Opposition Collect Signatures For Maduro Recall Vote

    © REUTERS / Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters
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    Venezuela's Supreme Court is about to initiate a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with deputies of Venezuela's United Socialist Party (PSUV) and ministers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, in this handout picture provided by Miraflores Palace on January 22, 2016
    © REUTERS / Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters
    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Venezuela's Supreme Court on Tuesday announced its decision obliging the opposition to collect signatures in all 23 states of the country in order to initiate a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.

    "Twenty percent of declarations of consent [to hold referendum] of the total number of voters from all states and from the capital's region are necessary to conduct a referendum. The lack of the required percentage of votes in any state or in the capital region would invalidate a recall referendum," the Court's ruling reads.

    The second stage of signatures collection is scheduled to take place on October 26-28.

    The opposition seeks to conduct a recall referendum before January 10, 2017. If the referendum is carried out after this date, the current Vice President Jorge Arreaza will succeed Maduro and will hold the post for two years even if people vote against the country's leader. If the vote takes place before January 10, new presidential elections will occur according to the country's constitution.

    Venezuela has been in a state of an economic turmoil since January. The opposition blames Maduro's economic policies for the recession, high rate of inflation, shortages of food and other essential supplies in the country.

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    referendum, Venezuela's Supreme Court, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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