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Poll: Venezuelan Voters Not Supporting Chavez's Proposed Changes to Constitution


A new poll shows that Venezuelan voters oppose by a strong margin President Hugo Chavez's proposed changes to the country's constitution.

The polling company Datanalisis announced Saturday that 49 percent of likely voters oppose Chazez's reforms, while 39 percent favor the changes.

The survey of nearly 2,000 people was taken mid-November and had a margin of error of about two percentage points.

Former Venezuelan Defense Minister Raul Isaias Baduel is predicting that next month the Venezuelan people will vote against the proposed constitutional changes that would greatly expand President Hugo Chavez's power.

General Baduel made his comments in an exclusive interview Friday with VOA. He has urged voters to reject the changes, saying they would amount to a coup by President Chavez.

Venezuelans vote on the 69 proposed reforms in a December second referendum.

The proposals include eliminating presidential term limits and establishing socialist reforms. Also among them are proposals to give authorities sweeping powers if a national emergency is declared, including detention without charges and controls on the news media.

The plan has been condemned by Venezuela's opposition parties, human rights groups and the Roman Catholic Church.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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