Politics

89 percent abstain vote on border dispute referendum in Venezuela, says opposition

Caracas, Dec 3 (EFE).- Venezuelan opposition leader claims that the participation in Sunday’s non-binding referendum on the territorial dispute with eastern neighbor Guyana saw a turnout of 2,110,864 voters out of 20.69 million citizens, an abstention of over 89 percent.

The referendum included five questions. The first four were about the acceptance or rejection of international treaties and tribunals to settle the border issue with Guyana.

The fifth was about the agreement to annex the territory, the creation of a state called Guayana Esequiba, and the “accelerated plan” to grant citizenship to the local population.

The National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that they totaled 10,554,320 votes, without clarifying whether it corresponds to the number of voters or the number of questions answered.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said the authorities “did not dare to say it (turnout) was 2,110,864 voters” as there are five votes per voter, given there are five dichotomous questions for each participant, on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

Capriles, one of the anti-Chavistas who voted in the referendum, said that President Nicolas Maduro “turned” the day “into a resounding failure.”

According to CNE, 95.93 percent of Venezuelans who participated in the referendum responded affirmatively to the fifth question on annexing Guyana.

The insistent call by the Maduro government for “massive participation” in the referendum in defense of Essequibo, a territory of almost 160,000 square kilometers in dispute with Guyana reportedly received a weak response on Sunday.

EFE confirmed the low turnout at several polling stations that saw empty streets, a scene contrary to the festive atmosphere that the government expected. EFE

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