Since taking over as the majority force in the Venezuelan parliament, the right-wing opposition has adopted a confrontational attitude, burning bridges and wrecking chances of reconciliation.
The inflammatory behavior of the petulant new National Assembly president, Henry Ramos Allup, like switching off the microphones of socialist speakers and removing pictures of Hugo Chavez and Simon Bolivar from the parliament building, demonstrates his belligerence.
This is the latest move to try and end the revolution by the right-wing in Venezuela pic.twitter.com/876O6Zha82— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) January 7, 2016
But the decision of Ramos Allup to swear in three MUD legislators, in spite of their being suspended by the Supreme Court of Justice pending an inquiry into voting irregularities in the state of Amazonas, transcends from provocative to senseless.
Because there is nothing in National Assembly guidelines that suggests that a party would need 112 deputies to hold a two-thirds majority: only that it needs a majority “of those present.”
Therefore, without the banned lawmakers (and a further socialist party lawmaker suspended for the same reasons) the MUD would still have held a two-thirds supermajority — 109 out of 163 instead of 112 out of 167 — allowing it to make sweeping changes, including calling a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro and overhauling the constitution.
Former Supreme Court Justice Luis Martinez told teleSUR that “the new leadership (of the assembly) cannot disobey an order from the judiciary” and that as a result decisions taken by the assembly would be void.
And now, the socialists have appealed to the Supreme Court to sanction the leaders of the assembly and to declare null any decisions made in parliament.
“This leadership purposefully ignored the sentence, ignoring the Judicial Power,” revolutionary party-members wrote in a co-signed letter.
“With this proposal they have tried to turn the Moral Power on its head ... before the management of the Legislative Power in an irresponsible way, ignoring the laws and the rest of the Public Powers, the patriotic power (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) has approached the (Supreme Court) to introduce three documents to request that through a legal path a call is made for the moderation of the board of directors, that has demonstrated that it is going to ignore the powers.”
If the Supreme Court upholds this new challenge and sanctions MUD leaders, the opposition campaign of change could be delayed further.
In the decisions posted online, the court did not specify the reasons for accepting the original challenge by the government regarding the Amazonas electoral issues. However the candidates who submitted the challenge cite a number of electoral irregularities, including possible fraud, a high number of blank votes, and, most importantly, vote buying, evidenced in recorded phone calls.
The opposition has waited more than 15 years to regain power of institutions, and has now shown its impatience to derail the socialist government. On Wednesday, President Maduro said that the actions thus far of the MUD in the National Assembly show that they have now “taken off the mask” and seek nothing more than confrontation and mayhem.
WATCH: Venezuela Congress Aims to Oust Maduro