Venezuelan constitutional assembly seizes power of opposition-led congress

  • Venezuelan constitutional assembly seizes power of opposition-led congress

Venezuelan constitutional assembly seizes power of opposition-led congress

The congress held a session on Saturday, just a day after the newly-established National Constituent Assembly adopted a decree that authorized the seizure of full powers from the parliament to pass legislation of vital importance to the crisis-hit nation.

Opposition leaders refused Friday to swear an oath of loyalty to the constituent assembly, which they have warned would crush dissent in the country.

Mercosur founding members Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will not recognise any measures taken by the assembly, the statement said.

In recent days Venezuelans have watched as a steady parade of top officials, including Maduro, kneeled before the assembly charged with rewriting the 1999 constitution and recognized it as the country's supreme authority.

A controversial election this summer formed the new legislative body. There were reports of electoral fraud after the company hired to run the machines raised red flags from London.

"The constituent [assembly] is not meant to govern, it is not even meant to act as judges, acting and chasing those who think differently", Avila said. "The National Assembly [Venezuela's congress], the global community and the people will not abide by the annulment decision".

Mr Maduro retains a major ally in Russian Federation, however, and has the support of several left-wing nations in the Americas. "The world and Venezuelans have said it very clear".

She was also prohibited from leaving the territory of venezuela and had seen his bank accounts frozen. "There is a heroic opposition".

His wife, Luisa Ortega, voiced her opposition several months ago against the government as well as the Supreme Court that she accused of serving the Executive.

Maduro, who has denied he is leading the country toward a dictatorship, has threatened to punish opposition leaders with jail terms.

She told the region's prosecutors that Mr Maduro removed her in order to stop a probe linking him and his inner circle to almost £77 million million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. She told Reuters in an August 10 interview that she feared for her life in Venezuela, although she still considered herself the country's chief prosecutor.

"They are very anxious and anguished", Ortega said.

"They will have to kick us out with bullets", said Guevara, who tore up a copy of the edict while presiding over the special session.

Maduro's administration blames their political opponents for inciting the violence that has killed about 140 Venezuelans - including teenagers and children.

Venezuela, once one of Latin America's wealthiest nations, has been paralyzed by months of protests against shortages of food and medicines, violent crime and a collapsing economy.