News

Venezuelans turn out for unofficial vote

Venezuelans wait to vote in a poll called the people's consultation, in Caracas, Venezuela. The unofficial referendum, organised by opponents to President Nicolas Maduro, is meant to gauge public opinion on his plan to rewrite the constitution.
Venezuelans wait to vote in a poll called the people's consultation, in Caracas, Venezuela. The unofficial referendum, organised by opponents to President Nicolas Maduro, is meant to gauge public opinion on his plan to rewrite the constitution. Miguel Gutierrez

MORE than seven million Venezuelans lined up across the country and around the world on Sunday to vote on President Nicolas Maduro's rewrite of the Constitution.

The proposed changes have fueled tensions in the oil-rich country, which has been hard hit by shortages and violent government crackdowns on protests in recent months.

More than 100 people have died in political clashes since April.

The vote in the unofficial, Opposition-organised referendum was just short of the 7.7 million who voted for the Opposition in Congress.

A woman aged 61 died and four people were wounded by gunshots when government supporters swarmed an opposition polling site in the capital, Caracas.

Mr Maduro called for an end to violence, which he blamed on the Opposition, but made no mention of the incident in comments just after the poll closed at 4pm.

"I'm calling on the Opposition to return to peace, to respect for the Constitution, to sit and talk,” he said on television.

"Let's start a new round of talks, of dialogue for peace.”

Foreign Minister Samuel Moncada tweeted he was banning former Mexican president Vicente Fox from the country for "conspiring to promote violence and foreign intervention”.

Mr Fox went to Venezuela on Saturday in a group of Latin American former presidents to support the Opposition referendum.

Mr Maduro and military dominate most state institutions, but the Opposition controls Congress and holds three of 23 governorships.

The Opposition called backers to vote on three questions. Do they reject the constitutional assembly? Do they want the armed forces to back congress? Do they support the formation of a government comprised both of Maduro backers and opponents?

Topics:  nicolas maduro people's vote venezuela



Cowardly attack on 83-year-old woman in Ballina

DRINK RIDING: A cyclist almost crashed into a police car while under the influence of alcohol last week.

Attacker stole her handbag and left her with a suspected broken hip

Lismore dad ordered to stand trial over son's murder

Lismore Court House. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

Court hears that a single stab wound severed a critical artery

Detectives renew appeal for information about child approach

Police are appealing for information about a child approach incident.

Light blue car being driven by tattooed man aged 35-40

Local Partners