Maduro under fire for constitutional breakdown, crisis

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Caracas, Dec 14 (IANS) The Venezuelan National Assembly has blamed President Nicolas Maduro for the constitutional breakdown and crisis in the country following his decision to demonetise, reports said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday the assembly with a majority opposition voted in the absence of government-supporting lawmakers and passed a resolution blaming Maduro for the ensuing political, social and economic crisis besetting Venezuela.

“It is agreed to declare the political responsibility of the president … for the serious rupture of the constitutional and democratic order, the violation of human rights and the devastation of the nation’s economic and social bases he has brought about,” read the agreement approved by opposition lawmakers, Efe news reported.

Thousands of Venezuelans on Tuesday had rushed to public and private banks around the country to turn in their 100-bolivar bills, the highest denomination in the local currency, which would lose their value and be removed from circulation on Thursday by Maduro’s order, Efe news reported.

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The document also approved ordering the Public Ministry to examine the evidence and issue a ruling on a request for a “pretrial finding against the president.”

Moreover, the lawmakers approved the decision by the opposition to turn to the appropriate international forums “to denounce the violations of human rights … in which the president … has had a leading role.”

The document claimed that Maduro “has governed since Jan. 14, 2016, thanks to a state of exception declared and prolonged unconstitutionally without the approval of (Congress).”

It also accuses Maduro of “systematically” resorting to the Supreme Constitutional Court to “impede by political means the entry into force of laws approved by (Congress) that would have contributed to resolving the country’s problems.”

In Venezuela, the National Assembly cannot impeach or remove the president, and – thus – the opposition’s move has no apparent legal ramifications.

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