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Chavez Wins

Both AP and Reuters are Deckaring Chavez Won the Referendum
Chavez Wins Venezuela Referendum-Preliminary Result

August 16, 2004 1:33am PDT

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has survived a referendum to recall him, according to preliminary results released by the country's top electoral officer on Monday.

National Electoral Council President Francisco Carrasquero said in a national broadcast the "No" option opposing Chavez's recall had obtained just over 58 percent of the vote, while the "Yes" vote obtained nearly 42 percent.

But two pro-opposition electoral officials questioned the result.

Shortly before Carrasquero made the announcement, two members of the five-member National Electoral Council leadership said they could not back the result.

Ezequiel Zamora and Solbella Mejias, both known opposition sympathizers, said procedural checks had not been carried out on the results as required.

"These partial results that part of the National Electoral Council wants to present to the public cannot be considered official," Mejias said.


Results Say Chavez Survives Recall Vote

August 16, 2004 1:25am PDT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez appeared almost certain to have survived a referendum that sought to oust him, the head of the elections commission said Monday.

With 94 percent of the vote counted, 58 percent voted to keep Chavez in office, said Francisco Carrasquero, president of the election commission. Chavez supporters immediately set off fireworks and began celebrating in the street.

Haydee Deutsch, an opposition leader, said fraud had been committed and that the opposition "has no doubt that we won by an overwhelming majority."

 http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=5&u=/ap/20040816/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/venezuela_recall

homepage: homepage: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=1&u=/nm/20040816/ts_nm/venezuela_result_dc

Follow up AP Article 16.Aug.2004 01:53

AP

Chavez surviving Venezuela recall
94 percent of votes counted; Opposition claims fraud

The Associated Press
Updated: 4:48 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2004

CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez appeared to have survived a popular referendum to oust him, according to early results Monday, while Venezuela's opposition swiftly claimed fraud.

Backers of the leftist populist president set off fireworks and began celebrating in the streets of the capital in the pre-dawn darkness upon hearing the news from Francisco Carrasquero, president of the National Elections Council.

Carrasquero stopped short of declaring Chavez the outright winner. But vote counts he released showed the firebrand former army paratrooper had a virtually insurmountable 58-42 percent lead, with 94 percent of the vote counted.

Carrasquero said 4,991,483 votes had been cast against Chavez's recall, with 3,576,517 in favor.

Haydee Deutsch, an opposition leader, said fraud had been committed and that the opposition "has no doubt that we won by an overwhelming majority."

The first-ever recall vote for a president in Venezuela's history was aimed at putting a lid on years of often violent political unrest and a bloody coup and came after a lengthy and complicated petitioning process. Uncertainty about the future of the world's fifth-largest oil exporter has contributed to record high oil prices, which have reached more than $46 a barrel.

Venezuelans could either vote "no," allowing Chavez to serve out the remainder of his six-year term which began in 2000, or "yes" to recall him. For Chavez to lose, more must have voted against him than the nearly 3.8 million who voted for him in the 2000 presidential elections, and there must also have been more "yes" votes than "no" votes.

Unprecedented turnout
Turnout was not immediatley known, but officials had said the number of people who went to vote was unprecedented, with lines longer than a mile in some places. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who monitored the vote, had said it was the largest turnout he'd ever seen.

The referendum comes after a two-year drive to oust Chavez, which included a short-lived 2002 coup, a devastating two-month strike and political riots last March that claimed a dozen lives.

There was no immediate reaction from Carter or Cesar Gaviria, head of the Organization of American States, on the results.

Activists from both sides had urged voters to the polls, but they needed little pushing. Venezuelans tend to love or hate Chavez, a 50-year-old former paratroop commander, with sentiment drawn along class lines.

Chavez is a champion among the majority poor for freely spending on social programs with Venezuela's oil revenues. But his vilification of the rich and close ties with Cuban leader Fidel Castro made him many enemies among the wealthy.

The sheer number of voters along with problems with electronic thumbprint ID machines led election officials to twice postpone the polls' closing to midnight -- eight hours later than first scheduled. They then said the polling stations would be kept open even longer until everyone in line voted.

Some of the electronic thumbprint registration machines, aimed at preventing people from voting more than once, had difficulty registering thumbprints. Even Chavez had to move to another machine to register his thumbprint after the first one failed.


BBC Report 16.Aug.2004 02:04

repost

Chavez 'winning' Venezuela poll

Preliminary results from Venezuela suggest President Hugo Chavez will win a referendum on his rule, election authorities say.

Officials from the National Electoral Council said that, with 94% of ballots counted, Mr Chavez had 58% of the vote.

But there were reports that opposition members on the council had rejected the partial result.

Opponents accuse Mr Chavez of authoritarianism, but he has a passionate following among the poor.

Story from BBC NEWS:
 http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/3569012.stm

Published: 2004/08/16 08:26:04 GMT

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez wins referendum on his mandate 16.Aug.2004 02:23

AFP

1:57am PT Aug 16, 2004

CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won a referendum on his mandate, with over 58 percent of the vote, electoral authorities announced, as the opposition rejected the partial vote count.

With most ballots counted, 58.25 percent of the electorate voted for Chavez to remain in office and 41.74 percent voted for his mandate to be revoked, said Francisco Carrasquero, president of the National Electoral Council (CNE).

Two of the five CNE directors announced they disagreed with the results because the ballots had not been properly audited.

"One cannot consider as official the partial results which part of the CNE leadership wants to announce," said Sobella Mejia, one of the council's officials.

A crowd assembled outside the presidential palace in downtown Caracas roared its approval as Chavez's triumph was announced, and fireworks lit up the night skies.

Surprised by the massive turnout and a slower-than-expected voting process, electoral officials had twice extended voting hours and again decided to keep polling stations open longer as voters still waited to cast their ballots at midnight Sunday (0400 GMT Monday).

There were fears a close result could trigger violent clashes between Chavez supporters and foes whose sporadic battles have killed scores of people in the past two years.

As the recall referendum was underway Sunday, unknown gunmen fired at voters waiting to cast their ballots just outside Caracas, killing one person and wounding 10 others, according to the capital's fire chief Rodolfo Briceno.

But on the whole, observers appeared satisfied with the voting process late Sunday, and former US president Jimmy Carter congratulated electoral authorities on their "heroic performance."

A beaming Chavez welcomed the massive turnout. "It is a true democratic fiesta," he told state-run television.

It was also a test of voters' patience, with many waiting in line for more than 10 hours.

Some 14 million registered voters, eager to cast their ballots early, showed up long before dawn, when buglers and fireworks echoed across Caracas to rally voters.

Foes of Chavez had pressed for the referendum, accusing the charismatic president of wasting the country's oil wealth and of seeking to emulate his close friend Fidel Castro (news - web sites), the leader of communist Cuba.

But Chavez claims the opposition is merely seeking to regain the privileges it used to enjoy before he launched the self-styled revolution he claims is lifting millions of Venezuelans out of poverty.

His popularity got a strong boost from recent spending on highly popular health program made possible by a windfall brought on by record oil prices.

Chavez warned that only his electoral triumph could guarantee crude shipments from the world's fifth oil exporter, claiming that an opposition victory would lead to a privatization Venezuela's huge state oil firm, which would prompt oil workers to stage a crippling strike.

There have been market concerns that a victory by the opposition, which last year staged a two-month oil sector strike, could affect exports -- notably to the United States, where Venezuelan shipments accounts for 15 percent of oil imports.

The opposition is an alliance of right- and left-wing parties, managers and trade unionists, former military officers and civic groups, united by their hatred of Chavez, but divided on numerous issues.


Chavez Claims Victory 16.Aug.2004 02:30

AP edit to follow up article

Chavez claimed victory in a victory speech from a palace balcony.

"It is absolutely impossible that the victory of the 'no' be reversed," Chavez told thousands of cheering and whistling backers.

mobalized poor peoples are changing things! 16.Aug.2004 08:06

kamf

now lets get the poor to vote in the USA

Score one for DEMOCRACY! 16.Aug.2004 10:47

Litoralis

Chavez is a champion among the majority poor for freely spending on social programs with Venezuela's oil revenues. But his vilification of the rich and close ties with Cuban leader Fidel Castro made him many enemies among the wealthy.

The Elite are clearly shaking in their shoes!
Let Us as American's follow Venezuela's lead!
We must change things for the better of All, not just the top 1%!
WE CAN DO IT!!!

Ask yourselves this:
Why are the wealthy so scared of these results?
Why are We as American's working harder than ever before for less and less?
Why aren't We doing something about this?

Hip, Hip, Hooray! 16.Aug.2004 10:56

Pro Democracy

This is the best news I've heard since they started to take away our freedoms on September 11th, 2001

P.S. If you don't realize yet how HUGE this moment is then it's time to wake up!

Follow the Money trail! 16.Aug.2004 11:31

Viva Chavez!

It would be nice to see where all this money came from to oppose someone that "The People" clearly wants to serve them remains in office. We as Americans must demand to know what Corporations or Government or individuals sponsored this anti-Democratic takeover attempt! Journalists must ask the hard questions! We as Americans must break out of this cocoon! It's too late for our TV and radio. When we lose our internet then we will lose all access to any outside information here in the USA! Realize that what happens in the world affects us here at home!


Chavez, the champion of Venezuela's majority poor and the nemesis of the wealthier classes, claimed victory and said he would continue to wage his "revolution for the poor."

"Venezuela has changed forever," he said in a speech. "There is no turning back."

He also claimed repeatedly that opposition leaders were pawns of President Bush.

"Hopefully, from this day on Washington will respect the government and people of Venezuela," Chavez boomed from a palace balcony.

Si! Viva Chavez and Viva Venezuela!

Good for him 16.Aug.2004 17:32

Ludd

I'm not a big fan of any politician but I'm glad this second attempt at a coup failed just like the first. I can only imagine though that the CIA is already plotting to off him for good. Sorry to be overly negative, but those fuckheads tend to kill people when they don't get their way. Good luck to the people of Venezuela!

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad 17.Aug.2004 18:38

ite

hey Ludd,

there have already been **TWO** (2) attempted paramilitary coup overthrows of Chavez -

so this latest bass-ackwards attempt would make for a total of three (3) contract pot-shots at Hugo.

but except for the oil barons and SUV-steering fascist elite, who's counting?