Tibisay Lucena, the head of the National Electoral Council, dismissed Smartmatic's claim, calling it an "opinion" of a company that played only a secondary role in the election and had no access to complete data. "A company located outside the country does.
A petition drive to collect signatures from 20 percent of registered voters, the next step in the recall process, would "probably" take place in late October, National Elections Council President Tibisay Lucena said in televised comments, adding this would.
The decision has also drawn rebuke from U.S. officials. On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida urged President Barack Obama to sanction Tibisay Lucena, the head of Venezuela's electoral council, and two other officials for violating human rights of.
Tibisay Lucena, said that Venezuela was living through “a crucial moment in its political history” and that the start of the process “represented a great opportunity for Venezuelans to come together in a national debate.” Shortly before meeting.