Venezuela leader promises referendum to calm crisis

The surprise announcement late Thursday followed two months of deadly unrest during anti-government protests and signs of division in the socialist leader's side.

Venezuela leader promises referendum to calm crisis

World Bulletin / News Desk

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has offered to hold a referendum on contested constitutional reforms in an apparent bid to calm critics in his own camp as he resists opposition efforts to remove him from office.

On Friday, student protesters entered the headquarters of official television channel VTV, where they lobbed accusations against Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas.

The opposition says his constitutional reform plan is a bid to cling to power -- and key allies such as Attorney General Luisa Ortega have broken ranks with him, arguing it is undemocratic.

"In light of what is happening in this country, I would like to push back this Constituent Assembly, ask the National Electoral Council to advance regional elections and continue to press for dialogue," Ortega told Union Radio.

Maduro's announcement, at a cabinet meeting, came just hours after Ortega filed a legal challenge against the plan. The presidents called opponents of the move "traitors".

Maduro aims to set up an elected constitutional reform body called a constituent assembly. His opponents say he will fill it with his allies.

Last Mod: 03 Haziran 2017, 11:39
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