Big turn out expected on Venezuelan opposition vote


Opposition in Venezuela has called, and expects a massive turnout on Sunday as a symbolic rejection of President Nicolas Maduro’s intentions to rewrite the constitution. President’s decision just escalated tensions in Venezuela, that has been stricken by shortages and protest that are lasting now for more than than 100 days.

The vote for electing members of a special assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s 1999 constitution is set for July 30. The oppositions says this vote will only serve to fill the assembly with government supporters and enable Maduro to complete his vision of Cuba-style system dominated by his socialist party.

Although Maduro and the military rule almost every state institution, opposition have congress in control and holds three of 23 governorships. The country’s chief prosecutor abandoned all relations with the ruling party.

A group of Latin American presidents came to Carcas to support the protests and opposition vote. “This fraudulent constitutional assembly will create a majority that will shut congress, throw democracy out the window, wipe out state governors and fire the chief prosecutor,” said former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga, adding, “Tomorrow, democracy and freedom are in play.”

Opposition has asked Venezuelans to oppose the assembly vote and show up to fill the ballots which contain 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 of Maduro backers and opponents?

Opposition’s referendum is symbolic, it will just show whose success or failure will be measured in how many millions of people participate. Opposition, united in the coalition named Democratic Unity, made 14 million ballots. Analysts do not expect turn out that high, but they say that more than eight million people could hike pressure on the government. Esspecialy two weeks before the constitutional assembly.

The government said opposition vote’s goal is to destabilize the country. Government has also been calling oppositions supporters to participate in the constitutional assembly, for the sake of peace in Venezuela.

“Some comrades and brothers may be worn out by the right’s great media campaign. Now they’ve invented this July 16 thing to put the burden on their own people and evade their responsibility,” socialist party Vice President Diosdado Cabello said Saturday. “That’s how the right is, manipulative, fooling their own people.”

Polls have shown that same amount of people want the constitution rewritten and support Maduro – around 20 percent. However the government called for nationwide rehearsal for the July 30 now on Sunday, it is expected to pull supporters into the streets.

The government is being accused of making an economic basket whit shrinking economy and shortages out of one of the region’s most developed and prosperous countries. On the other side government blames opposition for this crisis and economic war.

So far 500 people are behind the bars, 1,500 are wounded and at least 93 dead.

Head of the Justice First opposition party, Edinson Ferrer says he does not expect violence on voting polling sites are far enough apart. He said that around 50,000 workers are helping to organize the opposition vote.

He said some 50,000 poll workers would help organize the opposition event.