Venezuela's Constitutional Reform Fails To Pass
Venezuela's constitutional reform referendum fails to pass
Venezuelan voters have rejected a referendum on changes to the constitution. The chief of the National Electoral Council said it was rejected by a margin of 51% to 49%.
The referendum vote on sweeping reforms to the constitution would have allowed Hugo Chávez to run for reelection indefinitely, control Venezuela's foreign currency reserves, appoint loyalists over regional elected officials and censor the media if he declares an emergency.
Chávez called the vote a "photo finish," but did concede defeat. He vowed to "continue in the battle to build socialism" and though the reforms had failed "for now," they were "still alive." The vote marks the first setback at the ballot box for Chávez, since he came to power in 1998.