Venezuelans Cast their Votes in a “Meaningless” Referendum


July 16th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Al Mayadeen – – translated by Samer Hussein –  



Venezuelans are heading to the polling stations in order to cast their votes in an unofficial referendum, whose only intent is to put pressure on Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and members of his cabinet.  

The referendum was unanimously approved by the Venezuelan National Assembly on July 5th.

Maduro himself dubbed the referendum as“illegal and meaningless.”

He called on his fellow citizens to participate in the referendum peacefully and warned them not to fall for the provocations, coming from outside out of the country.

Since 7am in the morning, the voters are having an opportunity to cast their votes at some 2000 polling stations. 

Althoug Venezuelan opposition insists that the referendum itself is legal since Article 71 of the Venezuelan constitution grants the request to hold a referendum if supported by least 10% of all the voters, the Venezuelan National Elections Council nonetheless affirmed the outcome of the referendum will have no legal effect, since Venezuelan Electoral Authority is the only body entitled to conduct such referendum, noting that the referendum was never officially approved since it is not being carried out in accordance with the laws. 

Despite being unofficial, the opposition hopes for a large turnout in the referendum as that would allegedly help to “boost its morale” and undermine Maduro’s attempts. 

It is noteworthy the move of the opposition comes right in time when Maduro is campaigning for an official July 30 vote for the new assembly, which will be able to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the situation in the country during his speech on Friday, stressing that there is an “urgent need” for a national dialogue in Venezuela between the government and the opposition.

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