Protesters are clashing with police in riot gear as they try to make their way to the headquarters of Venezuela's electoral body.

Wednesday's protest is the third in a week as the opposition demands the government allow it to pursue a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.

Thousands of people turned out for the protest, but police blocked the route. A small group tried to break through and was turned back by tear gas.

Over the weekend, Maduro declared a state of emergency in the economically struggling country, and gave himself decree powers for 60 days.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Tuesday called on the country to reject those extra powers. He said Maduro would have to use tanks and war planes to impose them.