Venezuela to Hold Election of the National Constituent Assembly on Sunday

© AP PhotoPeople wave Venezuelan flags during a parade marking 200 years of Venezuela's independence in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday July 5, 2011.
People wave Venezuelan flags during a parade marking 200 years of Venezuela's independence in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday July 5, 2011. - Sputnik International
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Venezuela will hold on Sunday an election of the members of the Constituent Assembly, a new 545-strong legislative body with the power to amend the constitution, despite the vote against the decision to hold such election in the opposition’s so-called popular referendum on July 16.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos listens as former U.S. President Bill Clinton - Sputnik International
Colombian President Rejects ‘Spurious’ Legislative Vote in Venezuela
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced his decision to convene the National Constituent Assembly in a bid to amend the acting constitution in early May, claiming it would bring peace to the South American country. But his opponents feared it would allow him to bypass the opposition-controlled parliament and regarded the president's decision as an attempted coup.

The controversial vote comes amid protests that erupted in early April and have since claimed the lives of over 110 people. They followed an unsuccessful attempt of the Venezuelan Supreme Court to absorb the legislative power of the opposition-controlled parliament, the National Assembly.

On July 16, the country's opposition has held an unofficial referendum, in which 7.2 million people took part and almost 6.4 million of them voted against the Constituent Assembly. Venezuela's population is estimated at over 31 million people.

On Thursday, the Venezuelan government outlawed all protests ahead of a controversial election to the Constituent Assembly until next Tuesday. Still, many people have defied a ban on rallies and took to the streets on Friday night. At least one person died of a gunshot wound he sustained during clashes with law enforcement officers on Friday.

The United States warned it would sanction Venezuela and anyone who joins the new legislation body, if Maduro goes through with a July 30 vote.

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