Constitutional Karma? Bolivarian backlash? In 2009, Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez started a regional trend when he amended the constitution to allow indefinite reelection. Seven years later, the country’s newly emboldened opposition is hoping to use the same legislative trick to cut his successor’s tenure short.
Last week, the opposition party Causa R floated a constitutional amendment to roll-back presidential terms from six years to four years. The initiative also scraps indefinite reelection in favor of a limit of two consecutive terms. If the bill clears congress and is ratified in a referendum, presidential elections might be held in December and President Nicolás Maduro, if he lost, would have to vacate office by January, 2017 — two years earlier than scheduled.