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Venezuela lawmakers vote for political trial of president



Venezuela’s opposition-majority legislature voted on Tuesday to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro, who is resisting efforts to remove him from power in a volatile political crisis.

A majority of lawmakers in the National Assembly voted in favor of a motion to launch a “political and criminal trial” against Maduro after he blocked their drive for a referendum on removing him.

They voted to summon Maduro to appear before the assembly on November 1 to answer charges of “criminal and political responsibility and of abandoning his post.”

It is unclear what impact the vote will have. The Supreme Court — which the opposition claims Maduro controls — has ruled the National Assembly’s decisions invalid.

The center right-dominated opposition blames Maduro for a dire economic crisis in the oil-rich nation.

Hit by the fall of global oil prices, Venezuela’s economy has crashed, sparking protests and looting driven by shortages of food, medicine and basic goods.

Maduro calls the economic crisis a capitalist conspiracy.

The opposition called for the political trial after courts and electoral authorities last week annulled their bid to hold a recall referendum against him.

Maduro met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday and said afterward that he had the pope’s blessing to launch a “dialogue” with the opposition.

Leaders of the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) dismissed that as a ploy, insisting they had not agreed on terms for talks with the government.

The MUD has called for nationwide street protests from Wednesday to raise pressure on Maduro.

The president landed back in Venezuela on Tuesday after a tour to the Middle East, the Vatican and Portugal, television pictures showed.

He was expected to join his supporters in a rally in Caracas on Tuesday.

Analysts have warned there is a risk of violent unrest in the South American country of 30 million people.

Clashes at anti-government protests in 2014 left 43 people dead.

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1 Comment
  • Naijaman

    But our legislators are spineless, feckless bunch. They wouldn’t dare try it in Naija because they are all tainted. That’s why they are able to close the business of the upper chamber and match down like fools in solidarity of head honcho of that chamber being docked at the ICPC for failure to declare or false declaration of his loots. We can’t even suspend allegedly corrupt judges while corruption allegations against them are being investigated. Because all of them are deeply tainted, that’s why the thug in PH would obstruct & interfere with the arrest of an alleged crooked judge with dollar cache of over 2 million. Lemme even not forget the other thug in Ekiti who rode into an Access bank branch like a fool to wrest out from personnel of DSS a certain wife of an erstwhile aviation minister trying to tamper with an account under surveillance. Dr. Dumbo blabs that Dasuki could not possibly have stolen the $2.1 billion cash weapons; the same guy who shamed us by his wild assertion that stealing isn’t corruption. What a joke!! These kinds of impunity don’t exist in other climes. Way to go Venezuelan legislators!