Venezuela court drops bid to strip congress of power

2017-04-01 18:52
A protester waves a Venezuelan flag in Caracas. (Fernando Llano, AP)

A protester waves a Venezuelan flag in Caracas. (Fernando Llano, AP)

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Caracas - Venezuela's Supreme Court on Saturday said it was abandoning measures to seize power from the opposition-controlled legislature after the moves drew international condemnation and raised pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.

The court said in a ruling published on its website that it was overturning a decision to take over legislative powers from the National Assembly that opponents had branded a "coup d'etat".

AP reported that on Friday, troops from the National Guard fired buckshot and swung batons at students protesting in front of the Supreme Court. A few people were arrested and some journalists covering the demonstration had their cameras taken. A few small protests popped up elsewhere in the capital.

The Supreme Court ruled late on Wednesday that until lawmakers abided by previous rulings that nullified all legislation passed by congress, the high court could assume the constitutionally assigned powers of the National Assembly, which has been controlled by the opposition since it won a landslide victory in elections in late 2015.

Friday brought a second day of condemnations of the ruling by the United States and governments across Latin America. The head of the Organization of American States likened the decision to a "self-inflicted coup" by the leftist Maduro and the United Nations' top human rights official urged the high court to reverse its decision.

Read more on:    nicolas maduro  |  venezuela

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