Venezuela's Supreme Court reverses ruling on National Assembly annulment

Venezuela's Supreme Court reverses ruling on National Assembly annulment


This file photo shows a view of the National Assembly building in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by AFP)

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has reversed its ruling to strip Congress of its legislative powers after President Nicolas Maduro asked the judicial body to review the decision.

The Supreme Court announced on its website that it had canceled the ruling to assume legislative powers of Congress, media reported on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court had ruled that the National Assembly was in “contempt” and annulled its legislative powers.

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Friends and foes alike criticized the decision.

Lawmakers from the opposition, which dominates the National Assembly, and their Western backers, including Washington and the Organization of American States (OAS), described the move as a “coup” while Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega, an ally of Maduro, called it a “violation” of the constitution.

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Venezuela’s Attorney General Luisa Ortega (File photo)

During a speech in Caracas on Friday, Maduro said the constitution had remained intact and that there was no “breach” of it with regards to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Venezuela’s leader, however, urged the court to review the ruling “to maintain institutional stability.”   

Meanwhile, tensions remain high between the government and the opposition, who blame one another for the chaos and instability gripping the once-booming oil giant.

Maduro’s opponents blame his socialist government for the country’s socioeconomic problems, while the government says its US-backed enemies are waging an “economic war” against the Latin American nation.

The main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable, won a landslide victory in legislative elections in December 2015, with a promise to oust Maduro. However, it failed in its attempt to force him from power by seeking to hold a recall referendum.

Since then, relations between the leftist executive and rightist legislative bodies have remained sour.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks in Caracas on March 31, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Venezuela’s leader accuses the US of orchestrating an attempt to topple him as part of a wider offensive against Latin American leaders defying the US hegemony.

Maduro is a former bus driver who became a close ally, political prodigy, and successor of the late iconic figure Hugo Chavez.


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