Venezue­lans vote on new assem­bly

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro cast his bal­lot Sun­day to kick off a con­tro­ver­sial vote in Venezuela elect­ing a new, all-pow­er­ful “Con­stituent Assem­bly” he prom­ises will end his coun­try’s cri­sis by rewrit­ing the con­sti­tu­tion.

The vote has been fiercely op­posed by months of deadly street protests and crit­i­cized in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Venezuela’s op­po­si­tion says it is a bid for the be­lea­guered Maduro to cling to power by get­ting around the par­lia­ment con­trolled by its law­mak­ers.

State TV showed Maduro vot­ing in a west Cara­cas polling sta­tion for the 545-mem­ber cit­i­zens’ assem­bly that will be em­pow­ered to dis­solve the op­po­si­tion-con­trolled par­lia­ment and change laws as it re­forms the na­tion’s char­ter.

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