Haha! Good for the Venzuelans!
Hours after the final ballots were cast, the National Electoral Council announced at 1:15 a.m. local time Monday that voters, by a margin of 51 to 49 percent, had rejected 69 reforms to the 1999 constitution. The modifications would have permitted the president to stand for reelection indefinitely, appoint governors to provinces he would create and control Venezuela’s sizable foreign reserves.[snip…]
Particularly damaging to the government was the defection of several longtime allies, including the former defense minister, Raúl Baduel, and the head of an influential, pro-Chávez party, Ismael García. Pollsters said that gave the “No” vote undeniable momentum late last month.
“People who have been with Chávez do not support the reform,” said Elixio Fusil, who lives in a pro-Chávez district in western Caracas and voted against the reforms. “He wants a blank check, and that’s impossible. We’re not stupid like he thinks. It’s that simple. There are conscious, thinking people here, too.”
The referendum capped a whirlwind year for Chávez, who won a second six-year term with 63 percent of the vote last December and promptly announced he would radicalize what he calls his Bolivarian revolution. He nationalized electric and telephone utilities, wrested the huge oil sector from ExxonMobil and other corporations, cancelled the concession for RCTV, a stridently anti-government station, and oversaw an expanding state presence in the economy.
I wonder what Chavez will do now?