Mil­lions vote in Venezuela poll

Tempo - - News -

CARA­CAS (Reuters) – More than 7 mil­lion Venezue­lans voted in Sun­day’s un­of­fi­cial ref­er­en­dum held by the op­po­si­tion to heap pres­sure on Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro and re­pu­di­ate his plan to re­write the OPEC na­tion’s con­sti­tu­tion, mon­i­tors said.

The sym­bolic plebiscite was aimed at dent­ing Maduro’s le­git­i­macy fur­ther amid a crip­pling eco­nomic cri­sis that has left mil­lions strug­gling to eat and months of anti-govern­ment un­rest that has killed nearly 100 peo­ple.

Op­po­si­tion lead­ers hailed it as a suc­cess, while also mourn­ing the death of one woman killed by gun­men in Cara­cas dur­ing the vot­ing.

“To­day, July 16, dig­nity won and tyranny lost,” said op­po­si­tion leader Maria Co­rina Machado. “We have given an in­dis­putable man­date for a new Venezuela start­ing to­mor­row.”

Maduro, 54, dis­missed Sun­day’s poll as un­con­sti­tu­tional and is cam­paign­ing in­stead for a July 30 vote to cre­ate a leg­isla­tive su­per­body that would have the power to re­write the con­sti­tu­tion and dis­solve state in­sti­tu­tions.

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