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Venezuela's new constituent assembly removes state prosecutor from job

Venezuela's new constituent assembly unanimously agreed to remove State Prosecutor Luisa Ortega from her job, Reuters reported Aug. 5.

Ortega had started an investigation into allegations that the country's electoral council rigged turnout figures in the July 30 election for a constituent assembly.

Earlier in the day, security forces blocked Ortega from entering her office building, according to the report.

Tarek Saab, a human rights ombudsman, was appointed to the role. Opposition parties claim that Saab, a government ally, has turned a blind eye to state abuses.

Meanwhile, South American trade bloc Mercosur on Aug. 5 suspended Venezuela indefinitely, increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to restore democracy and dismantle the pro-government assembly, according to a separate Reuters report.

The new constituent assembly could rewrite the constitution, dissolve state institutions and give vast powers to Maduro's ruling socialist party.