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Thousands sign petition to remove Venezuelan President

The Venezuelan opposition has claimed that 600,000 people have signed a petition for a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro. It is more than triple the number needed to start organizing the process.    
     
Earlier, Mr. Maduro dismissed the initiative, saying he would serve out his full mandate until 2019.  
    
Many Venezuelans are furious because of a deep recession, food shortages and a power crisis that has cut supply to four hours a day in most cities. 
     
Under Venezuela's constitution, presidents can be removed from office by means of a referendum once they have served half their term. Mr. Maduro was sworn into office in April 2013.


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