Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro applauds as he attends a rally in Caracas, Venezuela June 11, 2016. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
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Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro vowed Saturday that no referendum on ending his term would be held until next year, amid mounting pressure as the country teeters on the brink of economic collapse.Maduro's opponents are racing to call a referendum before Jan. 10, as a successful recall vote before that deadline would trigger new elections rather than transfer power to the vice president.For months now, Maduro has faced increasing hostility, with opponents accusing him of driving oil-rich Venezuela to near economic demise and launching a marathon process to call a vote on ousting him from office.Maduro's comments came after the National Electoral Board (CNE) announced it would take fingerprint scans from June 20 to 24 to confirm the identity of 1.3 million people who signed the opposition's referendum petition.Seven in 10 Venezuelans want Maduro to go, according to polls.Maduro said Saturday the government would be suing to have the referendum request itself revoked, filing such a measure at the Supreme Court on Monday.
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