Announcement of Venezuelan Recall Referendum Timeline

Press Statement
John Kirby
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 22, 2016

The United States is troubled by yesterday’s announcement by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council that its recall referendum process might not be completed until 2017. This decision, continuing media restrictions and other actions to weaken the authority of the National Assembly, deprive Venezuelan citizens the opportunity to shape the course of their country.

The National Electoral Council’s unexplained delays in announcing the dates for the next phase of the process, its decisions to establish a very limited number of polling stations for the October 26-28 signature collection, to distribute those polling stations in a partisan manner, and to impose an irregular state-by-state requirement for those signatures are all part of a package of actions that reinforce our concerns about the impartiality of the process.

We call on the Venezuelan executive branch to engage in a serious dialogue with both the opposition and Venezuelans from across the political spectrum. Now is the time to listen to all Venezuelan voices and work together to find solutions.