Huge Turnout of Venezuelans Opposing Maduro’s Attempt to Rewrite the Constitution

July 17, 2017 |

By Nestor Rojas Mavares (dpa)

The commission of university rectors announced the results of the consultation on Sunday over the Constituent Assembly called by Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution. Photo: Manaure Quintero/dpa

HAVANA TIMES – Some 7.18 million Venezuelans voted Sunday against the Constituent Assembly promoted by President Nicolas Maduro to reform the country’s Constitution, in a popular consultation organized by the opposition, according to data provided by the organizers.

The commission of university rectors informed that after computing the 95 percent of the vote tabulation sheets a total of 7,186,170 of voters had rejected the Constituent Assembly of Maduro in the consultation that took place outside the formal electoral system.

The rector of the Central University of Venezuela, Cecilia Garcia Arocha, delivered the figures of the participation, which must be submitted to a subsequent audit to rule out any double vote.

“With 95 percent of the votes counted we have 7,187,170 voters who participated,” she said, adding that 6.4 million of the votes were in the country while 693,789 Venezuelans cast their ballots abroad.

“Denying the large participation in the consultation is not living in Venezuela. Everyone saw the long lines of voters. The people expressed themselves and told the Executive what they want: they want peace. Almost all of the answers were related to the ‘yes’ “He said when confirming the voters’ rejection of the Constituent Assembly.

The Venezuelans who participated in the plebiscite answered three questions. One pointed to the rejection of the Constituent Assembly convened by Maduro; Another, asked if the Bolivarian National Armed Forces were “required to obey and defend the Constitution”; And the last one, inquired whether they supported a renewal of public powers and the formation of a Government of national unity.

The questions were approved by the National Assembly (Congress), which is controlled by an opposition majority, with a view to having a popular endorsement of its next actions against the Government.

The manual votes were collected in cardboard boxes with the motto
Written: “The people decide”.

Benjamin Scharifker, another university rector, said that the “yes” overwhelmingly dominated the consultation in all three questions, with 98.4 percent of the votes received against the Constituent Assembly.

The president of the National Assembly, the opponent Julio Borges, said after the announcement that today Venezuela said “yes” to a country without violence, a country of progress united and in freedom.

“We have received a clear mandate of 7.1 million to be sure that we will achieve a democratic change. We will honor that cry that Venezuela gave,” he said.

Recounting the  votes at one of the polling stations in Caracas on Sunday July 16, 2017.  Photo: Manaure Quintero/dpa

He added that Maduro was elected president in 2013 with fewer votes than were cast in this consultation.

“That was the fear they had of a recall referendum and for that reason prevented it,” he said about the vote that was requested by the opposition and obstructed by judicial measures last year.

“This is why the government does not want to hold any more elections. This vote was made with 14,000 polling stations, when in a normal election there are 45,000,” he said at the end of the day.

Earlier, the government declared former Mexican President Vicente Fox a persona-non-grata after he participated as an observer in the opposition consultation.

Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said that Fox “will not enter Venezuela anymore because it is considered undesirable,” due to comments he made about the Venezuelan government during the day.

The so-called plebiscite was organized outside the formal electoral system, so its results were rejected in advance by the government, which faces a wave of protests that continues after over 100 days and has left almost a hundred dead.

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  • CErmle

    Talk about a rigged, fake “election”. It was illegal and means nothing. The ballot box was stuffed, for sure. It was a not a referendum in any way, shape, or form.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Although TV in the free countries showed long line-ups of Venezuelans waiting to vote, you CErmle claim that the ballot boxes were stuffed. Is that just venting your spleen against those opposed to Maduro’s ambition to make Venezuela into a dictatorship like Cuba, or do you have evidence? One has to admit that as proven by Maduro’s !% majority at the last election, that ballot stuffing is a known practice in Venezuela.

      • CErmle

        Your blessed Trump didn’t even win the popular vote and still won. You just gotta love you Canadians!

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          As usual CErmle, you are confused. Donald J. Trump is an American and the citizens of that country elected him as their President under their political and electoral system.
          Canadiand have and had nothing to do with his election.
          It is for the citizens of the USA to address any changes to their Constitution which in my opinion is in several ways out-dated.
          But I am sure that there are Canadians who might be grateful for your admiration!
          I have previously given my opinion that Mr. Trump is a narcisstic bully boy. I think he may well envy Raul Castro his powers as a dictator and wants to ensure that Nicholas Maduro’s ambition to become a Castro model dictator are thwarted.

          • CErmle

            Your philosophy is Trumpite all the way, even though you are a Canadian.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            That comment CErmle reflects your being a Marxist and your inability to read the contributions made by others. Being anti-Marxist does not mean that people are pro-Trump. I am anti-Marxist because I believe in freedom and liberty being essential for full development of the individual. I do not support the creation or endeavors to create a “proletarian mass” so much desired by you Marxists. Trump has much in common with others such as Raul Castro and Nicholas Maduro who seek to subjugate others and to exert power and control over them.
            I seek opportunity for individuals to determine their own future and interests. Just think for a moment CErmle about my comment that: “Mr Trump is a narcisstic bully boy. I think he may well envy Raul Castro his powers as a dictator”.

          • CErmle

            Thanks Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism always labels those who disagree with them as “Marxists”. They consider Martin Luther King Jr. to be one, too, and Barak Obama. McCarthyism and Trumpism have so much in common, which you already know. How is it in Canada?

  • Ruben Alberto

    The people should let him right the Constitution, because anyway the Capitalist will exploit the country if the ever get their hand on it, and would only serve the Giant Corporations and the Rich, and give them tax breaks, and take from the needy and give it all to the GREEDY…
    People with corporation thinking should not be running nothing around there in Venezuela, they should only run their mouths. CDR’S….