Venezuela: A Victory for Democracy

Source:Venezuela: A Victory for Democracy

New America Media Wed, 05 Dec 2007 2:08 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — Democracy triumphed in Venezuela as voters limited the leader’s popular support, editors of Spanish-language La Opinion report. The victory of the “No” vote to the constitutional reforms proposed by President Hugo Chavez temporarily suspends his plans and gives the opposition a sense of the importance of its current political role. The election results also put to rest fears that Chavez would not tolerate a defeat. Merely recognizing the opposition’s victory elevated the president’s image, editors write, even if it was a grudging acceptance. In his message to the country, Chavez was more interested in delegitimizing the opposition than in recognizing his errors. Editors write that they hope Chavez continues to respect the will expressed Sunday by voters and does not take advantage of his support in the legislature to unilaterally push through the referendum’s failed measures. Interestingly, editors add, millions of Venezuelans who voted in the presidential elections sat this one out: The high abstention rate reveals how tired and displeased the electorate is with the whole political process. In a democracy, editors write, reconciliation is the next step after elections. Chavez and the opposition should work together to advance the less controversial aspects of the reform, the editorial concludes. Venezuelans deserve the effort.

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