Venezuela: court overturns dissolving of legislature

Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice reversed a prior ruling to shut down the National Assembly on April 2. The court effectively dissolved the legislature in its decision just four days earlier. The Supreme Court and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro both support the Socialist Party, while the opposition party leads the legislature. Protests broke out after the original decision last week, with protesters accusing the Socialist Party of creating a "dictatorship." The international community also voiced opposition. A special state security committee persuaded the court to reverse their decision.

There has been considerable tension between the pro-government controlled Supreme Tribunal of Justice and the opposition-majority National Assembly of Venezuela following the December 2015 election. Last November the National Assembly postponed a symbolic trial of President Nicolas Maduro in an effort ease political tension in the nation. In October the National Assembly voted to open criminal impeachment proceedings against Maduro, alleging that he manipulated the constitution to remain in power. That same month, the Assembly also declared that there is a breakdown of constitutional order and that the government had staged a coup by blocking an attempt to remove Maduro from power. 

From Jurist, April 4. Used wth permission.

  1. Venezuela opposition leader banned from office for 15 years

    The Venezuelan government announced April 8 that opposition leader Henrique Capriles has been banned from holding office for 15 years by the Venezuelan state comptroller. The ban, which was imposed for alleged "administrative irregularities" during his time as the governor of Miranda and misuse of donations from the British and Polish embassies, would bar Capriles from opposing current President Nicolas Maduro in the upcoming presidential election. In addition to the alleged misconduct during his time as governor of Miranda, Capriles has also been accused by Venezuelan officials of inciting violence during protests against President Maduro. The ban continues a trend of targeting political dissidents in Venezuela. In response to this ban, thousands of Venezuelans protested in Caracas after an already week-long protest against the government. (Jurist)

  2. Venezuela: imprisoned opposition leader released to house arrest

    Venezuelan political prisoner Leopoldo López was released from a military prison July 9 to house arrest after the Supreme Court of Justice ordered his release due to health concerns. López has been detained by the government since early 2014 on a 13-year sentence after being charged with inciting anti-government protests. Venezuela has been facing angry protests for 100 days, and the release of López has raised hopes for the opposition. He was briefly seen in front of his home on Saturday kissing the Venezuelan flag but making no remarks to supporters as per the conditions of his release. (Jurist)