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Crisis-torn Venezuela to hold constitutional referendum

After months of unrest, Venezuela's president announces the people will decide the country's future, with a constitutional referendum.

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Crisis-torn Venezuela to hold constitutional referendum

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Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is to hold a referendum on a new constitution following two months of at-times violent and deadly protests.

In a statement on state television, the socialist leader said the people would be the ones to decide whether or not they agree with a new, strengthened national charter. No specific date for the vote has been announced.

Maduro’s initial plan to create a constituent assembly saw him labelled a dictator. Opponents and members of the government alike criticised the idea as anti-democratic.

The ballot is likely to turn into a vote on Maduro himself. A brutal economic crisis under his rule has swung the stakes in the opposition’s favour. Polls suggest it now has majority support for the first time in years.