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Rafael Ramirez, former president of PDVSA, under investigation for corruption

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Venezuela leader defies demos, launches constitution overhaul


Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro formally launched moves to rewrite the constitution on Tuesday, defying opponents who accuse him of clinging to power in a political crisis that has prompted deadly unrest. At an open air rally before thousands of supporters wearing red t-shirts, Maduro signed a document formally establishing the terms for electing members of a “constituent assembly” that will be tasked with drafting a new constitution. His backers waved red, yellow and blue national flags in defiance of angry opposition protests after the death toll from weeks of clashes reached 53. Elections to the new assembly will take place at the end of July, the National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena later said in a televised statement. He also said gubernatorial elections pending since last December would take place on December 10 this year. The opposition-controlled National Assembly promptly rejected Maduro’s plan. “The Venezuelan people do not want a fraudulent Madurist constitution and we will not accept it,” opposition leader Henrique Capriles tweeted. More…

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