CARACAS – More than seven million Venezuelans participated in an unofficial referendum organised by the opposition Sunday and 98% voted to delegitimize the rule of President Nicolas Maduro, according to academics monitoring the vote.
About 7.2 million voters responded to three questions and they overwhelmingly rejected the proposed new super legislative body, urged the military to defend the existing constitution, and supported holding elections before Maduro’s term ends in early 2019.
Volunteers count the ballots after the poll station closed during a referendum in Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday.
Maduro dismissed Sunday’s poll as unconstitutional and continued to campaign in support of a July 30 vote to create an assembly that would have the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.
The symbolic plebiscite was held amid an economic crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans struggling to meet basic needs, and almost daily anti-government protests for several months that have cost the lives of about 100 people.
The symbolic plebiscite was held amid an economic crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans struggling to meet basic needs, and…