A New Bid to Oust Venezuela's Chávez

Venezuela's opposition has started the ball rolling yet again to oust embattled President Hugo Chávez before the next scheduled elections in 2006. On Oct. 31, opposition parties will launch a four-day signature drive to gain support for a recall referendum on Chávez's rule. If they gain the support of at least 2.4 million voters -- 20% of the electorate -- a referendum on Chávez's presidency will likely be scheduled in February. That could lead to a presidential election in March. Chávez will no doubt use all his legal and bureaucratic powers to fight the recall vote. But he faces an uphill battle. More than 60% of Venezuela's voters say they would cast their ballot against the president.

Edited by Rose Brady

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