CARACAS, Monday February 16, 2009 | Update
In the opinion of political expert José Vicente Carrasquero, following the results of the referendum on the amendment to the Constitution, the opposition should point the Venezuelan society's demands to the government.
Carrasquero thinks that the opposition should act on behalf of the society and demand clear answers to critical issues, such as insecurity, high cost of living and housing shortage.
He added that voters should feel that political parties are working hard to better their quality of life and this means a more direct contact with people.
"To focus more on these issues, which are fundamental for Venezuelans' quality of life, and less on the political aspect, that is, whether (President Hugo) Chávez is good or bad," Carrasquero told eluniversal.com.
In addition, the expert talked about the importance of a draft law on financing to political participation in order to prevent unbalances as to the funding of election campaigns. He noted, for instance, the overwhelming advertising of the Yes vote, compared with the No option.
In his analysis, Carrasquero said that the numbers reflected on the results of the referendum held on Sunday show a significant increase of opposition voters versus pro-government voters.
"An opposition that has already reached somewhat more than five million votes, which is the largest and highest number obtained since 1998. Then, what you can see, if you had a chart, is a decreasing vote for Chávez and an increasing dissenting vote."
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.