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Venezuela opposition refuses to help draft new constitution

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Caracas: Venezuela’s opposition alliance, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), has refused to participate in the drafting of a new constitution, MUD leader Henrique Capriles announced.

“The Democratic Unity … will not go to Miraflores (presidential palace),” said Capriles on Sunday in a video address, in response to President Nicolas Maduro’s invitation for the opposition to join in a National Constituent Assembly (ANC) on Monday.

He blasted Maduro’s government for seeking to “change the internal judicial order”, and called the proposal for a new constitution a “fraud”.

“There is a Constitution here. If the government wants to overrule it through force, it is wrong,” he added, slamming the government “for not submitting to an electoral process”.

Capriles also said the opposition would march on Monday, bringing “together thousands of Venezuelans” to deliver a document of rejection.

“If Maduro insists on calling for a constitutional process, the Venezuelan people must decide in a referendum,” he added.

The ruling socialist party and the right-wing opposition have been locked in a bitter power struggle, causing violent anti-government protests that have killed 37 people since April 1.

On May 1, Maduro called for the creation of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution as a way out of the political impasse.

IANS

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