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Venezuela: UN Hails Peaceful Conduct Of Referendum

Venezuela: Annan Hails Peaceful Conduct Of Referendum, Urges Continued Calm

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the peaceful conduct of Venezuela's recent recall referendum on President Chávez's mandate and called for the country's people to move forward in a constructive spirit of dialogue.

In a statement, a spokesman for Mr. Annan also welcomed the fact that an unprecedented number of Venezuelans demonstrated "a great sense of responsibility and respect for democratic values" by participating in the poll.

Voters rejected the President's recall, according to confirmation of preliminary results by the National Electoral Council as well as a declaration made by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Carter Center.

"The Secretary-General once again appeals to all Venezuelans to settle all matters related to the referendum in the same civic and democratic spirit that prevailed during the voting," the spokesman said.

Last month, Mr. Annan's Special Adviser Diego Cordovez visited the country and all concerned committed themselves to resolve issues related to the referendum through consultations. Today's statement called on them to engage in a constructive dialogue looking towards Venezuela's future.

"The United Nations will continue to support the people of Venezuela in their search for a peaceful solution to their political differences," the spokesman said.

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