04:11 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with businessmen in Caracas, Venezuela January 9, 2017

    Launch of Venezuela’s New Constituent Assembly Delayed Until Friday

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    Nicolas Maduro postponed the inaugural session of his new National Constituent Assembly until Friday.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday postponed the inaugural session of his new National Constituent Assembly until Friday to prepare for the launch.

    "It has been proposed that the NCA launch be postponed from tomorrow to 11 a.m. on Friday [15:00GMT] to better prepare for it," Maduro said in a televised announcement.

    The president added that the first session would be convened in the National Assembly building, currently occupied by an opposition-controlled parliament.

    The election for the 545-seat legislature was held last Sunday amid widespread condemnation from regional powers. Maduro said the body, which has the right to rewrite the constitution, would help bring peace to the nation.

    A scandal erupted on Wednesday after Antonio Mugica, the chief executive of Smartmatic company that provided voting machines for electronic ballot, claimed the government had inflated the turnout figures by at least a million.

    Venezuela’s electoral council head Tibisay Lucena rejected the accusation in a statement, saying it was part of the weeks’ long campaign against the electoral body and threatened to sue Mugica.


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