Chavez Constitutional Referendum Narrowly Defeated

mishima brings us this report:

Chavez Loses Constitutional Vote

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez suffered a stunning defeat Monday in a referendum that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely and impose a socialist system in this major U.S. oil provider.

Voters defeated the sweeping measures Sunday by a vote of 51 percent to 49 percent, said Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council, with voter turnout at just 56 percent.

She said that with 88 percent of the votes counted, the trend was irreversible.

Opposition supporters shouted with joy as Lucena announced the results on national television early Monday, their first victory against Chavez after nine years of electoral defeats.

Credit to Chavez for respecting this result. It sounds strange to say that, but Latin America, unfortuately, is not famous for its fealty to democracy.

 

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  1. According to the International Herald Tribune, the voter turnout some poor areas was low. Now I don’t know if that was observational or factual. I do get the impression from reading the article that it was written with a certain amount of relief. I am not a huge Chavez fan myself but as you point out given the historically fragile democracies in those regions, perhaps, the fact that he will apparently concede a close loss is good news.

    Will he try again? He is a clever man, perhaps he had calculated that accepting this loss also makes him look less dictatorial?

  2. Get yourself some!

    • Turkana on December 3, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    that the venezuelan people like democracy even more than they like their popular president.

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