Venezuelans Rebuke Their (Socialist) President by a Staggering (98 percent) Margin
NY Times ^ | July 16, 2017 | Ana Vanessa Herrero and Ernesto Londono
Posted on 7/17/2017, 6:35:56 AM by Zakeet
Millions of Venezuelans signaled their disapproval of President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to hold a constituent assembly by casting ballots on Sunday in a vote unlike any other in this nation’s history.
More than 98 percent of voters sided with the opposition in answering three yes-or-no questions drafted with the aim of weakening Mr. Maduro’s legitimacy days before his constituent assembly is expected to convene. Opponents see the assembly as a power grab by an increasingly unpopular leader and fear he may use it to do away with democratic elections.
Shortly before midnight, a group of Venezuelan university administrators tasked with overseeing the vote count said that more than 7,186,000 ballots had been cast. Organizers hailed the outcome and the turnout.
While Mr. Maduro is widely expected to ignore the outcome, organizers hope that it invigorates a protest movement that has gained momentum over the past couple of months. Tensions have soared across Venezuela amid widespread food and medicine shortages and spiraling inflation that the government routinely plays down.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com …