Venezuela opposition calls for general strike over Maduro plans

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Opposition leaders announced their plans following the disputed referendum

Venezuela's opposition has called for a 24-hour strike on Thursday in protest against President Nicolas Maduro's plans for a new constituent assembly.

In a statement, leaders said 7.6 million people had taken part in Sunday's opposition-organised referendum on the plans.

They also announced they would name new Supreme Court judges.

The controversial assembly would have power to scrap the National Assembly and rewrite the constitution.

"It is time for zero hour," said opposition leader Freddy Guevara, speaking on behalf of the Democratic Unity coalition (MUD).

The government has dismissed Sunday's referendum as illegal and politically irrelevant.

President Maduro's plan will see a vote on 30 July for the new constituent assembly.

Its 545 members will have the power to dissolve state institutions, including the National Assembly, where opposition parties are in the majority.


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