‘Venezuela votes on constituent assembly amid protests’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has predicted a big victory in a vote for an assembly that will be tasked with rewriting the constitution.

Maduro has called for a massive turnout in Sunday’s election which he has branded as the most important vote held in Venezuela’s political system. He says the assembly will help him jail opposition legislators because it will lift their constitutional immunity. The Constituent Council is comprised of 545 members and also has the authority to dissolve the parliament. Maduro’s opponents have boycotted the vote, saying the legislative body will give him sweeping powers and pave the way for autocracy. In a last-ditch effort, the opposition has called for intensified protests.

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