The people said NO! NO!

Por Venezuela Real - 6 de Diciembre, 2007, 15:53, Categoría: REFORMA CONSTITUCIONAL

VenEconomy Weekly
December 05, 2007

This past Sunday Venezuelans rejected the new constitution proposed by President Hugo Chávez, which sought to trans-form Venezuela into a socialist state, abolish private property rights and vastly expand the powers of the presidency, while allowing him to seek re-election indefinitely. It was the first electoral defeat Chávez has suffered since winning the presi-dential elections nine years ago, in December 1998. But the official results announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE) at 1:13 a.m. on December 3 show the No vote prevailed by a hair.

Senior government officials claim the constitutional reforms were defeated by the high abstention rate, and not by Venezue-lans who voted “No”. Although this is not exactly true, non-participation did reflect rejection to the proposed reform. For one, the high abstention rate was a function of (a) chavista loyalists staying home, as a way to express their opposition to the new Constitution without having to actually vote against the President, (b) public employees, mission grantees, contractors, and others, who were afraid their votes would not be secret and (c) those who were opposed to participating in an illegal proc-ess and/or who refuse to participate in an easily manipulated vote tally procedure.
The president’s aggressive drive to amass all political and economic power in his own hands was defeated democratically – and decisively.


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