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Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony to mark the birthday of the South American independence leader Simon Bolivar in La Guaira, Venezuela July 24, 2017. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's main business guild Fedecamaras demanded on Tuesday that President Nicolas Maduro's government abort a controversial vote scheduled for Sunday to create a special congress capable of rewriting the country's constitution.

Critics have called it a dictatorial move and U.S. President Donald Trump threatened last week to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela if it went ahead.

Fedecamaras said the Constituent Assembly was "unconstitutional and unnecessary" and not the way out of Venezuela's crisis.

"We demand the executive branch abandon its intention to impose a new constitution," the group said in a statement.

Maduro has vowed the vote will go ahead on Sunday and slammed critics, who he says do not have the country's interests at heart.

Venezuela is undergoing a major political and economic crisis, with millions suffering food shortages and months of anti-government unrest in which more than 100 people have been killed.

(Reporting by Girish Gupta; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Reuters