CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's national electoral council said on Thursday opponents of President Nicolas Maduro had not collected enough signatures for a recall vote against him to proceed.
The council gave promoters of the vote 12 hours on Wednesday to collect a minimum of 4.2 million signatures, in spite of protest by opposition figures who said it was not feasible and efforts to get the decision reviewed by the country's top tribunal.
The commission's five-member board includes three people connected to the ruling party and two with ties to the opposition, who also expressed chagrin at the 12-hour limit.
"No state reached the 20% required and established by judicial order," commission rector Tania D'Amelio said in a statement. "The national electoral council declares inadmissible the request for a revocation referendum against the president."
The effort received 42,421 signatures, D'Amelio said, representing 1.01% of Venezuela's 21 million-strong voter registry.
Venezuela's constitution allows officials who have completed at least half their term to be removed from office by a vote. Maduro completed the first three years of his second term - which the opposition considers illegitimate - earlier this month.
(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Sandra Maler)