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Venezuela's Maduro affirms new legislative body as all powerful

From Reuters - August 10, 2017

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recognized the Socialist Party-dominated constituent assembly as the country's most powerful institution on Thursday in his first appearance at thehighly criticized legislative body that was inaugurated six days ago.

"As head of state I subordinate myself to the powers of this constituent assembly," he said during his address.

"I come to recognize its plenipotentiary powers, sovereign, original and magnificent," he said.

The recent election of the 545-member assembly drew international condemnation for usurping the authority of Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress. Critics have said the election cast aside any remaining checks on Maduro's power.

Maduro has said the assembly is the country's only chance at securing peace and prosperity after four months of unrest and anti-government protests that have left more than 120 people dead.

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