Choosing Your Democracy
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been resisting protesters’ calls for fresh elections, instead proposing constitutional changes that would increase his powers. This weekend, his opponents responded with an unofficial referendum.
Opposition leaders claimed that millions turned out to reject Maduro’s proposed changes, and at least one woman was killed and three other people were wounded reported.when armed motorcyclists fired on a voting booth in Caracas, Agence France-Presse
The informal polls have no enforcement mechanism, but the strong turnout could further galvanize critics calling for Maduro to withdraw the proposed changes, Bloomberg said.
“This will give the opposition the platform they need to demand that the government cancel the constituent assembly,” the agency quoted a political scientist at the Central University of Venezuela as saying.
Opposition volunteers operated more than 1,900 polling stations where hundreds of voters lined up to cast their symbolic votes, many chanting anti-Maduro slogans. But observers say the president is unlikely to back down, considering his response to four months of organized protests that have left 100 people dead.