Venezuela's opposition has presented to the electoral authorities a petition with the signatures of 1.85 million voters calling for a referendum to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
This is the first step in a process which could lead to a recall referendum being held by the end of the year.
The opposition blames the socialist government's policies for the current economic crisis and the shortage of staple goods.
Mr. Maduro took office in April 2013 and his term ends in 2019. Under Venezuela's Constitution, presidents can be removed from office by means of a referendum once they have served half their term.
He was elected to replace Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer.