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Venezuela's congress and Supreme Court embroiled in power…

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by July 22, 2017 General

CARACAS, July 21 (Xinhua) — Venezuela’s National Assembly and Supreme Court of Justice on Friday were emroiled in a power struggle ahead of a contraversial national vote.

The opposition-controlled assembly claimed its right to make key appointments, and announced a designation of 33 judges to replace the entire Supreme Court.

The move was swiftly denounced by the Supreme Court, which accused the assembly of attempting to “usurp powers.”

The court, many of whose judges were hastily appointed shortly before the ruling party lost its majority in congress, called on military and civic agencies to take “coercive measures” against the assembly’s attempt to overstep its boundaries.

Venezuela’s armed forces are deploying troops across the country to guard a July 30 vote for a special assembly to rewrite the country’s constitution.

President Nicolas Maduro claims the constituent assembly will resolve the political crisis in the country, but the opposition considers the vote an attempt by Maduro to grip power and has refused to participate.

Some 150,000 troops will be guarding 14,515 voting stations, as the country’s 20 million registered voters go to the polls.

Due to violence potentials in Venezuela’s highly charged political atmosphere, the nation’s electoral body has set up “contingency centers” to serve as alternative voting sites should designated voting stations be blocked or attacked.

Stepped up anti-government demonstrations have left at least 102 people dead, including protesters, government supporters, police and other security personnel, according to official data.

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