All-powerful Venezuelan assembly to open amid protests

An anti-government demonstrator waves a flag against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro during a vigil in honor of those who have been killed during clashes between security forces and demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, July 31, 2017. Many analysts believe Sunday’s vote for a newly elected assembly that will rewrite Venezuela’s constitution will catalyze yet more disturbances in a country that has seen four months of street protests in which at least 125 people have died. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

 

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is heading toward a showdown with his political foes, promising to seat a new constituent assembly that will rewrite the country’s constitution and hold powers that override all other government branches.

Leaders of the opposition urged Venezuelans to fill the streets of the capital Friday, hoping to provide a strong showing that many people object to the assembly.

The body’s 545 delegates were expected to be installed at the legislative palace in a room just yards (meters) from the chamber where the opposition-controlled National Assembly meets.

The legislature building has been the scene of bloody clashes and the installation of the all-powerful assembly will intensify a political struggle that has brought three months of bloody anti-government protests to Venezuela.

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