CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuelan protesters clashed Wednesday with police who fired tear gas on marchers demanding that election officials start counting signatures for a vote to recall President Nicolas Maduro.
High-profile opposition leader Henrique Capriles was among those affected by tear gas released during the scuffle.
Opposition leaders hoped to march to an electoral building in Caracas, but police cordoned it off. The officers threw tear gas containers at protesters to keep them away when some tried to proceed on the blocked route.
Opposition congress president Henry Ramos condemned the use of tear gas and said it was unacceptable that anyone be hurt during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, later said he was fine.
President Nicolas Maduro accused the opposition of trying to make a show of violence.
The electoral authority has said it will wait weeks before starting to count the signatures in favor of a referendum. The opposition wants them counted immediately.
The opposition roiled the country with bloody nationwide protests in 2014. But protests have tended to be small and peaceful since then.