I had never understood why the Chavistas had decided to introduce petiotions for recall referenda for opposition Governors and Mayors. It simply did not make sense, given their minute possibility of success, other than possibly overburden the CNE with work to introduce petitions for a recall of officials that would likely have resigned from office by the time the referenda took place. The reason was simple, regional elections have to take place in June and Venezuelan law requires candidates to resign from office if they want to campaign openly.
It also made little sense from many points of view to have the petition drives for these regional positions to take place a week ahead of that for the Presidential recall. Basically, if it was a success, this would drive fear in the opposition making teh presidential recall petition more succesful and if it was a failure it would give more determination to the opposition.
But a new mystery was unveiled yesterday, when the CNE decided unanimously to cancel the regional petition drives for the positions of Governors and Mayors. Some argue that this favors Chavez’ MVR because they were going to have a hard time gathering the required signatures. However, now they will gather them only for the positions of Deputies, the least likely to awaken passions among those seeking the recall. Thus they are certainly to ahve a very small attendance now, giving a very poor image of MVR’s popularity.Thus, in a single stroke, the petition drives promoted by Chavez’ MVR have been made even more difficult.
All these decisions appear, at first sight, to hurt Chavez’ MVR, but if we did not understand their original intention, we do not understand why they are cancelling it now…….