Chavez loses constitutional vote

President Hugo Chavez suffered a stunning defeat Monday in a referendum that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely.

Chavez loses constitutional vote
Venezuelans have rejected constitutional changes proposed by Hugo Chavez, the president, in a close-run referendum, according to the National Electoral Council.

Chavez conceded defeat in a live broadcast on Monday, having narrowly lost the vote on proposed changes to the constitution that included the removal of presidential term limits.

The electoral authority announced early on Monday the "No" camp had won 51 per cent of the vote compared to the pro-Chavez "Yes" camp's 49 per cent.

It said the result could not be reversed with the number of uncounted votes remaining and declared Chavez the loser.

Chavez's 69 proposed changes would have allowed him to control Venezuela's foreign currency reserves, appoint loyalists over regional elected officials and censor the media if he declares an emergency.

It would also have allowed him to run for re-election indefinitely.

But students, rights groups, business lobbies, opposition parties, the Roman Catholic Church and former political allies all lined up against Chavez, calling the proposed changes authoritarian.

Even Chavez's usually loyal ex-wife voted against his reforms.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Aralık 2007, 15:36