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3343 - The Venezuelan Recall in Comparative Perspective: Good or Bad for Democracy?

The 1999 Venezuelan Constitution enshrined the concept of participatory democracy in tandem with a number of direct democracy mechanisms. Among these mechanisms, the Constitution established the recall for all elected officials, including the President. On year 2004, a presidential recall process took place, which did not end with the recall of the President. The process was highly controversial and there is still an ongoing debate about the beneficial or detrimental consequences of this mechanism on democracy in the country. The purpose of the paper is to characterize the Venezuelan recall process, both in its conceptual and practical sides; to assess its consequences on Venezuelan democracy; explore the relevant international experience; and obtain lessons learned from this experience that could help assess the value of this mechanism for democracy.

Keywords: Venezuela, recall, direct democracy, President

Author: Kornblith, Miriam (National Endowment for Democracy, Ud States of Am / USA)

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