Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has provoked international criticism and enraged his political opponents by pushing for a special assembly to rewrite the troubled South American nation’s constitution.

Sunday’s election of delegates to the assembly comes after nearly four months of political upheaval that have resulted in more than 100 deaths and left thousands injured and detained.

Few specifics have been disclosed on what constitutional changes might be in store. But allies of the socialist president say the assembly will target opposition leaders, stirring warnings Maduro will use the assembly to install an autocratic regime.

Maduro’s mentor, the late President Hugo Chavez, similarly called for a constitution rewrite shortly after taking office in 1999, but unlike Maduro, he held a referendum first to get Venezuelans’ blessing. Even some “Chavistas” have rejected the drive to change the constitution, which has further polarized an already deeply divided country.

– Associated Press