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Venezuelans vote in national referendum against convening Constitutional Assembly

July 17, 8:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Since early April, Venezuela has been embroiled in large-scale protests organized by the opposition

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© EPA/HUMBERTO MATHEUS

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. Over 98% of Venezuelans, who voted in the people’s referendum organized by political opposition, spoke against convening the Constitutional Assembly, according to data provided by a commission of principals from the country’s leading universities.

According to the commission of university principals, who acted as guarantors of the plebiscite, over 7.18 million people voted in the referendum in Venezuela, which has a population of some 31.1 million (according to 2015 census).

The people were proposed to answer three questions: (1) Do you reject and ignore the realisation of a Constituent Assembly proposed by (President) Nicolas Maduro without the prior approval of the Venezuelan people? (2) Do you demand that the National Armed Forces and all public officials obey and defend the Constitution of 1999 and support the decisions of the National Assembly? (3) Do you approve the renewal of public powers in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, and the holding of free and transparent elections, as well as the formation of a government of national unity to restore constitutional order?

Since early April, Venezuela has been embroiled in large-scale protests organized by the opposition. Protests were provoked by the Supreme Court’s ruling expanding Maduro’s authority and restricting the competences of the opposition-controlled parliament. Over this period, some 90 people have been killed, about 1,500 have been injured and several thousands have been arrested.

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