Opposition Presents Proposals for Post-Chávez Government

Published by EFE, 7/25/04

Caracas, Jul 25 (EFE).- Venezuela's opposition Democratic Coordinator coalition Sunday presented a document which will serve as a guide for the "democratic government of national unity" it expects to take office in late September.

This new government is the opposition's proposed alternative should President Hugo Chavez lose the recall referendum scheduled for August 15.

The Coordinator took for granted that he would be voted out in their presentation of the "National Agreement for Social Justice and Democratic Peace" document during a ceremony at the Ateneo de Caracas, which "establishes a clear course of action for the future government." It also outlines what is to be done prior to the future government's taking office and states that the opposition should present a sole candidate if national elections are held after the referendum.

This candidate will be chosen in "primary elections" open to candidates from all of the parties united under the coalition, whose unifying motives are rejection of autocracy and a desire to preserve the democratic system.

The text states that if Chavez is defeated, the new government will adopt "the National Consensus Project as its programmatic guide." The opposition must get 3.7 million votes in order to remove Chavez, who was elected in 2000, and their ballots must also outnumber those in his favor.

If Chavez loses, elections will be held within 30 days, the winner of which would govern until December 2006, when regular presidential elections will be held.

Should the Coordinator come to power, the agreement states that it would take urgent measures to improve security, education, health care and provide public services to the country's dispossessed.

It would also give new impetus to the oil industry and make "political and constitutional" reforms. EFE rr/kb/cd