Facing protests, Venezuela's Maduro triggers constitutional shakeup

Facing protests, Venezuela's Maduro triggers constitutional shakeupBy Andrew Cawthorne and Alexandra Ulmer CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s unpopular socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced on Monday the creation of a new popular assembly with the ability to re-write the constitution, which foes decried as a power-grab to stifle weeks of anti-government unrest. “I don’t want a civil war,” Maduro told a May Day rally of supporters in downtown Caracas while elsewhere across the city security forces fired tear gas at youths hurling stones and petrol bombs after opposition marches were blocked. Maduro, 54, has triggered an article of the constitution that creates a super-body known as a “constituent assembly.” It can dissolve public powers and call general elections, echoing a previous assembly created by his predecessor Hugo Chavez in 1999 soon after he won office in the South American OPEC nation.



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