The Venezuelan government has been very explicit in its desire not to have the December 8 municipal elections framed as a plebiscite on Maduro’s presidency.
Yesterday Maduro insisted that the opposition will try to use the elections to overthrow him. He claims that the December elections are only regional in character and that to remove him the opposition will have to wait until 2016 to ask for a recall referendum: “Collect the signatures you need, but at the middle point of the presidential period , and the National Electoral Council will review those signatures, will certify them, and if you can accomplish this, we will have a recall referendum in 2016, because the country needs that any electoral functionary be given time to develop his project,” Maduro told the opposition.
But he also implied that in the case the opposition came to power, presumably trough a coup, it would not be given time to develop any project at all: “If one day [in the future] there is a government of the bourgeoisie here, it would not last 47 hours. Therefore I ask them [the opposition] to respect the rules of the democratic game, of coexistence, and of peace. Venezuela still has ahead 2013, 1014, and 2015. Let those be peaceful years. Only in the minds of the trilogy of evil [opposition leaders Machado, Capriles, and López] can we find such perverse thoughts [of a coup]”
The President also ratified his belief that the opposition is trying to “produce a series of events of great magnitude and of negative impact against the economic and social life, and the peace of the country, so that the December 8 elections have to be suspended. They [the opposition] are a fraud, hypocrites, they are Pharisees.”