President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela Tibisay Lucena addresses a press conference about the presidential recall referendum in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, on Aug. 9, 2016. Lucena announced that if the established requirements are met, the second phase of the plebiscite, namely the collection of signatures from 20 percent of the electorate, will be in October. (Xinhua/Boris Vergara)
CARACAS, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) Tuesday announced a timetable for a presidential recall referendum demanded by the opposition against President Nicolas Maduro.
CNE chief Tibisay Lucena said the second phase of the petition will probably begin in late October. The collection of signatures from 20 percent of the country's electorate, or close to 4 million voters, will be needed at the stage.
Election officials would then have 29 days to confirm the signatures and then 90 days to hold a referendum.
Lucena said there should be no rush to hold the referendum to ensure its "effectiveness" for citizen participation and that the legal and technical principles should be adhered to.
On Aug. 1, the electoral body confirmed the end of the first phase in petitioning for the presidential recall referendum as demanded by the opposition coalition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).
During the first phase, the opposition collected signatures from the 1percent of voters needed to start the next phase.
The opposition has accused the CNE of delays benefiting President Maduro's administration, while Lucena has vowed not to give in to "pressure from anyone."