Venezuelan President Announces Referendum in Attempt to Quell Unrest

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On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed to hold a referendum on a new constitution he proposed in an attempt to curb anti-government unrest in the South American country.

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"I shall propose it explicitly: the new constitution will go to a consultative referendum so it is the people who say whether they are in agreement or not with the new, strengthened constitution," Maduro said.

The decision follows complaints from opponents and members of his own government that his effort to rewrite the national charter with his so-called constituent assembly is anti-democratic.

According to chief state prosecutor Luisa Ortega, Maduro’s attempt to create the assembly without a plebiscite resembles his predecessor Hugo Chavez‘s rewriting of the constitution in 1999.

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The government said elections for the new constituent assembly will be held in late July.