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Venezuela presidential vote set for April 22


CARACAS Venezuela's electoral council has set April 22 as the date for a controversial presidential election, which the opposition accuses President Nicolas Maduro of using to engineer a second term for himself.
The head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, made the announcement Wednesday after talks broke down between the government and opposition on setting a date for the polls. With the opposition coalition barred from fielding a candidate and several top Maduro critics banned, the deeply unpopular leftist president's opponents accuse him of rigging the snap vote before it is even held.
Venezuela was not due to hold a presidential election until December. But the Constituent Assembly -- an all-powerful legislature stacked with Maduro loyalists -- announced last month the date would be brought forward. (AFP)

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