Opposition activists are pictured next to the site where young activist Neomar Lander was mortally wounded during clashes with riot police, during a protest in Caracas, on July 24, 2017. AFP / RONALDO SCHEMIDT
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Venezuela's angry opposition is pushing for a boycott of an upcoming vote that it dismisses as a ploy by President Nicolas Maduro to cling to power.Ahead of next Sunday's election for a 500-plus member assembly to rewrite the constitution and give the president more power, the opposition plans a general strike – the second in weeks – Wednesday and Thursday and a big protest march Friday.Next Sunday's vote is supposed to be for a 545-seat constituent assembly that will draw its members not from political parties but rather social sectors which the opposition sees as loyal to Maduro, a former bus driver who was the handpicked successor of late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez.Maduro on Sunday urged the opposition to refrain from violence and let those who wish to cast ballots do so or they will be met with a relentless response.
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