For Friday, March 4, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
The Democratic Unity Roundtable – MUD – Américo de Grazia said all parties had unanimously decided to pursue three simultaneous mechanisms to accelerate the end of Nicolás’ government: the constitutional amendment, the recall referendum and the resignation. The decision’s pertinence is to sidestep any obstructions that the PSUV might put up, leaving a fourth option, the Constituent Assembly, as a last resort.
That’s why Nicolás’s most repeated phrase during his “jueves de vivienda” broadcast was that “nobody will remove him” from Miraflores. With severe technical issues in the links he used to prove the activation of the Construction engine, Nicolás said that the opposition’s goal was to remove him from power to take away people’s houses. to destroy all that’s been achieved; he rejected the Law on Ownership again, asking people to take to the street to protest it. He signed the public works plan for 2016, complaining again about oil prices, while he made a call to break the chains of capitalism and at the same time, celebrated the opening of a cement factory with which he hopes to build 100,000 housing units per year.
Repeal the executive order?
Barack Obama signed an order to extend for another year, the national emergency declared about Venezuela on 2015, because the situation hasn’t improved and because the country suffers political persecution of dissidents, restrictions on press freedom, use of violence and human rights violations. Obama added that Venezuela represents an extraordinary risk for United States security.
About the decision
Henry Ramos Allup said on Thursday that the Supreme Tribunal’s decision was invalid since it breaches article 40 of the Law of the Supreme Tribunal, which establishes that a decision must be signed by two thirds of the justices, that is to say five out of seven of them. After deputy Omar Barboza’s speech, the majority of the National Assembly rejected the decision issued by the Supreme Tribunal’s Constitutional Chamber and approved an agreement objecting to the Government’s use of the Judicial Branch as an instrument to limit the Assembly’s authority.
The majority ratified its autonomy, their respect for the Constitution and their decision to keep fulfilling all of their faculties, since they’re the power with the most legitimacy. The agreement proposed and approved, establishes:
- Requesting that all international methods be pursued to guarantee democracy and parliamentary authority.
- Denouncing the aforementioned situation before the OAS and requesting the application of article 20 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
- Asking the World Inter-Parliamentary Union to decide on the matter.
- Understanding for the Supreme Tribunal employees who disagree with decisions that undermine the Rule of Law.
- Telling the people to remain alert and ready to demand respect for their sovereignty, expressed on December 6, 2015.
- Issuing copies of the Agreement to the president of the Supreme Tribunal, to Nicolás, to the president of the CNE and to the heads of the institutions of the Citizen Branch, as well as giving publicity to the Agreement.
Also, with the MUD’s majority vote and the PSUV’s abstention, the Framework Law on Transparency, Disclosure and Access to Public Information was approved in its first reading. Chavismo’s arguments to oppose this law were absurd, from the risk of revealing data that could create anxiety in the population, to what el finado would’ve wanted if he were alive. According to deputy Víctor Clark, article 203 of the Constitution was breached since the vote wasn’t made by two thirds of the present deputies.
Autonomy for the Central Bank
Likewise, the MUD’s majority approved the partial reform of the Law of the Central Bank in its second reading. The proposal made by Alfonso Marquina (Committee on Finance,) is the first law formally approved by the new Assembly; it will reform changes made by Nicolás Maduro through enabling powers on December, 2015, which included stripping Parliament of its authority to elect two members of the Central Bank’s board of directors, and to receive reports from the institution. It also demands proper publication of economic statistics, inflation rates and GDP numbers; as well as banning the Central Bank from financing the Republic. Chavismo abstained from voting, obviously.
Councillor Jesús Armas and deputies Juan Miguel Matheus, Carlos Paparoni and Jorge Millán, were attacked near the National Assembly by a group of 30 people who beat and pushed them. Paparoni suffered the gravest injury when someone broke a bottle on his head. But a little earlier, in Puerto La Cruz, councillor Beatriz Pérez was hit by a glass cup which the Vice-President of the Municipal Chamber kindly threw at her. And deputy Dinorah Figuera’s car had its glasses shattered within the Legislative Palace’ parking lot.
Henry Ramos Allup urged chavismo to take measures so that these attacks don’t happen again, because the scenario benefits nobody.
The CNE’s Legal Consultancy remembered that they had to set a position about the PSUV’s challenges on the electoral results of December 6. They asked that the challenges be dismissed if they’re based on null votes, since they’re not evidence that people’s will was disrespected nor reason to suspend elections: “Null votes, from a conceptual and theoretical standpoint, express an opinion that must be respected, and thus they can’t be used as an argument to challenge elections.”
We’ll keep waiting for a statement regarding the challenges based on “compra de votos”, the argument for Amazonas which suspended electoral results there.
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