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Venezuelan Government Seeking to Abolish Congress

Nicolas Maduro
Nicolas Maduro / AP
• June 28, 2016 4:43 pm

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The Venezuelan government may ask the nation’s high court to disband the legislature headed by officials opposed to President Nicolas Maduro amid an ongoing economic crisis, AFP reported Tuesday.

The ruling coalition "has started discussions to request a consultation with the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court" with the goal of abolishing "this National Assembly," according to ruling coalition spokesman Didalco Bolivar.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela accused the opposition of fraud after members of congress collected signatures for a recall vote to remove Maduro from office.

Jorge Rodriguez, a senior member of PSUV, claimed the opposition disregarded the nation’s constitution while gathering signatures because they were unable to authenticate the names.

Bolivar said the government would demand "that legislative elections be called so that the people can say whether they want this obstructionist and constitution-violating assembly to be in charge, or the contrary."

The opposition blames Maduro for Venezuela’s worsening economic crisis that has led to shortages of food and pharmaceutical products, according to AFP.

Maduro’s opponents in the MUD coalition have attempted to cut his six-year term short and force a new election since January. The group is planning to hold a referendum on the issue this year.

Opposition leader Henry Ramos said Maduro would be guilty of leading a coup if he blocked the referendum.

"If they insist, as they are, in holding on to a model that has failed in all senses, then the response is obvious: the ones causing a crisis have to leave; otherwise we'll never overcome it," Ramos told Reuters in January. "We've insisted that the solutions to the crisis have to be democratic, constitutional, pacific and electoral. Nothing else."

Published under: Corruption, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela