Venezuela's electoral authority suspended a recall drive against President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday less than a week before it was set to start, throwing the opposition's key campaign to oust the socialist leader into disarray.
Officials cited alleged fraud in a preliminary signature-gathering effort as justification for blocking the opposition from proceeding to the next stage of its push to hold a referendum on Maduro's removal. His critics blame the late President Hugo Chavez's heir for Venezuela's economic collapse, bare store shelves and the jailing of opposition leaders.
The opposition immediately blasted the decision as unconstitutional.
"We alert the...