Over 8 Mil­lion Vote in Venezuela's Na­tional Con­stituent As­sem­bly Elec­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

The pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Elec­toral Coun­cil, Tibisay Lu­cena, has an­nounced that turnout in Venezuela's his­toric Na­tional Con­stituent As­sem­bly was over 41 per­cent, in­di­cat­ing that over eight mil­lion peo­ple voted in the elec­tions.

"Peace has won. If peace has won, Venezuela has won," she said at a tele­vised press con­fer­ence. "De­spite the vi­o­lence and threats, Venezue­lans were able to ex­press them­selves."

Lu­cena said the CNE had to re­lo­cate some vot­ing cen­tres to avoid vi­o­lence. On Tues­day this week, the indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties se­lected the eight re­main­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Pres­i­dent Ni­colás Maduro spoke to a large crowd in Cara­cas thank­ing all for their sup­port to reach peace in the coun­try. Maduro said it was one of the high­est voter turnouts of the Bo­li­var­ian Revo­lu­tion with 8,089, 320 vot­ing for their rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

"Eight mil­lion in the mid­dle of threats,” Maduro said. “There were states where they crossed rivers and moun­tains, and they voted.”

"The peo­ple of Venezuela have given a les­son on democ­racy,” Pres­i­dent Maduro said.

Maduro thanked Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean coun­tries for their sup­port against what he called in­ter­ven­tion­ist moves by the United States. Re­fer­ring to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's prom­ise that he would not ac­cept the re­sults of this elec­tion, Maduro said: “We don't care what Trump says, we care about what our peo­ple say.”

"This elec­tion will mark the fu­ture years of the in­de­pen­dence of Latin Amer­ica," Maduro said. "Latin Amer­ica will be­gin a new wave of strug­gle."

The Venezue­lan pres­i­dent re­peated that the first step be­fore the leg­isla­tive body be­gins the Con­stituent process will be to call, yet again, for a di­a­logue with the right-wing op­po­si­tion in the coun­try. Maduro also called on the op­po­si­tion to aban­don vi­o­lence and re­turn to do­ing pol­i­tics. Vot­ing hours were ex­tended by one hour due to the over­whelm­ing re­sponse, as hun­dreds of thou­sands of Venezue­lans from across the coun­try lined up long be­fore dawn to cast their bal­lots for the 545 can­di­dates.

The vot­ing process was re­port­edly peace­ful with the ex­cep­tion of a few iso­lated in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence as op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers protested and staged

guarim­bas in a bid to shut down the elec­tion.

A feel­ing of ex­cite­ment filled the crowds in the cen­tre of Cara­cas as cit­i­zens sang, danced and laughed af­ter the end of the process to choose del­e­gates to form the leg­isla­tive body that will draft the new Con­sti­tu­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.