- Title: Maduro and supporters seek to nullify opposition-led abandonement bid
- Date: 10th January 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (JANUARY 10, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF VENEZUELAN SUPREME COURT VARIOUS OF DEPUTY FROM BOLIVAR STATE OF GOVERNMENT'S SOCIALIST PARTY, HECTOR RODRIGUEZ, BEFORE SPEAKING WITH MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DEPUTY FROM BOLIVAR STATE OF GOVERNMENT'S SOCIALIST PARTY, HECTOR RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "We have encouraged the Supreme Court of Justice to introduce a mechanism to nullify the actions that were taken yesterday, and to pass judgement on the politicians for their behaviour which was unconstitutional, anti-democratic, irresponsible and verging on ridiculous." RODRIGUEZ DELIVERING NULLIFICATION REQUEST TO SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE EXTERIOR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE VENEZUELAN FLAG CLOSE EXTERIOR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE
- Embargoed: 24th January 2017 18:42
- Keywords: Maduro Diosdado Cabello opposition national assembly
- Location: CARACAS AND VARGAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS AND VARGAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015YI1NPF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuelan government supporters hit back on Tuesday (January 10), calling on the Supreme Court to nullify a resolution approved by the opposition on Monday declaring that President Nicolas Maduro had "abandoned his post" and failed to perform the basic duties of governing the country.
Hector Rodriguez, a deputy from Maduro's socialist party, spoke to reporters outside Venezuela's Supreme Court on Tuesday, where he delivered the request for nullification.
"We have encouraged the Supreme Court of Justice to introduce a mechanism to nullify the actions that were taken yesterday, and to pass judgement on the politicians for their behaviour which was unconstitutional, anti-democratic, irresponsible and verging on ridiculous," said Rodriguez.
Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice released a statement on Monday ordering the opposition lawmakers to "abstain from continuing impeachment proceedings against the president of the country, or any other type of measure that is beyond its constitutional powers".
Maduro, meeting with cabinet ministers on Tuesday, said the resolution amounted to a coup attempt and urged resistance.
"The irritating and null manifesto which lacks any form of effectiveness, and which was approved by the gang in the National Assembly yesterday, is a manifesto representing a coup," said Maduro.
"Refrain from the consequences of the call for a coup d'etat approved by the gang yesterday in the National Assembly, it is a gang which has captured the National Assembly and is using the forum of the National Assembly in disregard of the law in order to promote a coup against the Venezuelan state, that is how I denounce it," Maduro added.
The opposition's resolution was approved with 106 votes in favour.
Opposition lawmakers have been calling for a recall referendum that would lead to a new presidential election but has been hamstrung by a hostile Supreme Court that has shot down nearly every measure it has approved.
Though a recall referendum is still legally possible this year, a new presidential election is unlikely to happen as any successful recall vote will result only in Maduro being replaced by his vice president without new elections, according to the Venezuelan constitution.
The Supreme Court urged the opposition to pursue dialogue as a means of resolving differences.
Maduro's critics blame him for triple-digit inflation, Soviet-style product shortages and snaking grocery store lines that stretch for blocks. Maduro, a former union leader and ex bus driver, says he is the victim of an "economic war" led by his political adversaries with the support of Washington.
Congress opened a year ago to great fanfare among Maduro's adversaries amid hopes the opposition majority would be able to revamp the country's decaying, state-led economic system. But the situation has instead devolved into a political stalemate as economic difficulties have become steadily more extreme.
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