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Venezuelan Opposition Draws 7.1 Million Protest Voters Against Government
18 July 2017, 12:33 | Floyd Cook
Voters in Cayman take to the polls
Almost 7.2 million Venezuelans-lower than the projected 10.5 million out of 19 million possible voters-cast ballots in the symbolic election against Maduro, university guarantors said with 95 percent of votes counted. One pointed to the rejection of the Constituent Assembly convened by Maduro; Another, asked if the Bolivarian National Armed Forces were "required to obey and defend the Constitution"; And the last one, inquired whether they supported a renewal of public powers and the formation of a Government of national unity.
Over 7 million out of 19.5 million eligible voters have participated in the opposition poll, nearly the number of 7.7 million voters who backed the opposition in the last presidential elections.
Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada said that Fox "will not enter Venezuela anymore because it is considered undesirable", due to comments he made about the Venezuelan government during the day.
The 7.6 million people who participated in Sunday's event was just under 7.7 million opposition votes in the 2015 legislative elections, that it won by a landslide.
A dry run of that election was also held Sunday, to detract from the opposition vote which the government branded "illegal". Opposition members fear Maduro's constitutional assembly will reschedule or do away with a future presidential election entirely.
The almost 7.2 million votes "confirmed the reason why Maduro is afraid of elections that are mandated by our constitution", National Assembly President Julio Borges wrote on Twitter. "But these seven million people spoke, and it was plenty".
Cecilia Garcia Arocha, rector of Central University of Venezuela, announced the results at the referendum headquarters in Caracas, pointing out that the number of polling stations, at 2,030, was much lower than in regular elections. The people expressed themselves and told the Executive what they want: they want peace.
Venezuelans Karina Farias McDermot Maria Testori Adriana Thomas and Elsa Luke
Venezuelans within and outside the country voted in a symbolic and unofficial plebiscite on Sunday organised by the opposition.
Sunday's unofficial poll was held in improvised polling across Venezuela and in more than 100 countries around the world.
"They have convened an internal consultation with the opposition parties, with their own mechanisms, without electoral rulebooks, without prior verification, without further verification".
Analysts say that if Maduro loses the support of the military his rule is all but finished. The coalition has said it will do that in coming days to keep the vote secret and prevent reprisals by officials.
"I'm calling on the opposition to return to peace, to respect for the constitution, to sit and talk", the president said.
Late Sunday, the prosecutor-general issued a statement stating that a shooting at the town of Catia had killed the 61-year-old Xiomara Scott and three others outside a voting center.
"That was the fear they had of a recall referendum and for that reason prevented it", he said about the vote that was requested by the opposition and obstructed by judicial measures a year ago.
"I want to express my will to change the current situation, we all need it", said a Bradenton woman holding her baby who only wanted to be identified by her first name of Monique.
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