Maduro blasts opposition attempt at recall referendum as 'childish' and 'major fail'
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lashed out at the opposition for its attempt to push for a recall referendum against him, denouncing the move as "childish" and a "major fail" after the country's National Electoral Council declared his opponents had not collected enough signatures for the vote.
"The attempt to re-activate the revocation referendum was a major fail, it's stupid, it's childish and it's part of the attacks the opposition has carried out in Venezuela over the last few years," Maduro said in a televised address in the capital, Caracas, on Thursday.
Maduro blamed the Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido and said, "It's their own fault, it's Guaido's fault. The fault lies with all these groups who thought it was easy."
The bid needed 4.2 million signatures of support to go ahead up until Wednesday as a deadline, but as Venezuela's National Electoral Council announced, only 42,421 had been received.
Tania D'Amelio, the council’s rector, said in a statement that the request for the recall vote could not proceed, declaring "inadmissible the request for a revocation referendum against the president."
Venezuela's constitution allows officials who have completed at least half of their term to be removed from office by means of a plebiscite.