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Nicolás Maduro sworn in for second term as Venezuela's president

Nicolás Maduro has been sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's president, despite international criticism that his re-election is illegitimate.
 
Thousands of spectators gathered for the ceremony in Caracas.
 
Security forces blocked off several areas of the capital and other cities, and opposition groups called for pot-banging and the sounding of horns in protest during the ceremony.
 
The inauguration took place before the country's Supreme Court instead of its opposition-run Congress, which has been stripped of its powers since Mr. Maduro's ruling Socialist Party lost control of it 2016.
 
Earlier this week, Venezuela Supreme Court judge Christian Zerpa fled to the US in protest over President Maduro winning a second term, arguing that the election was not free and fair.
 
The May 2018 polls were marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.
 
The US, EU, and 13 countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recognise Mr. Maduro's presidency.
 
The 56-year-old socialist leader has dismissed talk of foul play, saying opponents must leave his administrators alone to govern.
                                                    


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