Members of the ruling socialist party said the legislation amounted to an attempted coup
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C), Venezuela's Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez (R) and Venezuela's Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz, attend a ceremony at the National Pantheon in Caracas March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.,
10 of March 2016 12:43:33
CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela's opposition-controlled Congress has given preliminary approval to a bill that would put the country on the road to a presidential recall referendum.During the floor debate Thursday, opposition lawmakers said they hope the initiative leads to a peaceful transition of power this year.Members of the ruling socialist party, which controls the presidency and most state institutions, said the legislation amounted to an attempted coup.Congress is expected to give the bill final approval later this month.A recall is one of several strategies the opposition is pursuing to remove President Nicolás Maduro from office. They blame him for the widespread shortages, deep recession and raging inflation plaguing Venezuela.The opposition is also calling for street protests starting this Saturday and a constitutional amendment that would shorten Maduro's term.