Venezuela’s opposition to hold symbolic vote on constitution rewrite

Venezuela’s opposition to hold symbolic vote on constitution rewrite

A fifth of Venezuelans are expected to participate in a symbolic vote on President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

A fifth of Venezuelans are expected to participate in a symbolic vote on President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution today.

The oil-rich Latin American country has been mired in crisis since 2014, when a deep recession saw opposition protests against Maduro’s socialist policies. The crisis has intensified in recent months; ongoing large-scale protests have claimed the lives of more than 100 and resulted in thousands of arrests.

Today, voters will be asked whether they agree with the proposal—which Maduro insists is key to solving a protracted economic and political crisis—as well as seeking views on the military’s role in “recovering constitutional order”. While the military remains loyal to Maduro, it’s widely viewed as the only state organ with the power to oust the controversial president.

Venezuela’s pro-government electoral authority has refused to give its blessing to Sunday’s vote. Instead, it’s green-lighted Maduro’s plan to hold a dry-run of the July 30 election, which will install a special assembly to rewrite the constitution.