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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro stands with supporters during a gathering after the results of the election were released, outside of the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, May 20, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 January 2019

On Jan. 10, Maduro will assume his mandate as president swearing his oath of office before the Supreme Court of Justice.

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela tweeted a message of unity just as he was about to take office for his second six-year term saying that the “Bolivarian Revolution is about more that one man: it's about a people that chose to be free.”

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On Jan. 10, Maduro will assume his mandate as president for the 2019-2025 constitutional term, swearing his oath of office before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), after his election on May 20, 2018.

In normal times, the oath of office is taken before the National Assembly (NA), but since that body remains in judicial contempt since 2016, it has no legal ability to perform its normal duties, explained president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) Diosdado Cabello.

At the same time, Maduro will be recognized by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and will meet with his supporters, while on the next day, he will appear before the ANC to legitimize the mandate he received in the May elections.

Why is the National Assembly in contempt?

On January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court of Justice declared the National Assembly in contempt of court for swearing in three deputies from the self-appointed Unity Rountable (MUD) elected by the state of Amazonas in December 2015. The three Indigenous legislators should have been temporarily suspended because of voting irregularities in that region, but instead took possession of their seats on July 28.

The contempt of court is maintained to this day because the new board of the NA refuses to accept the judgments of the TSJ. For them, the actions of the National Assembly are null and void.

Diosdado Cabello explained during the Meeting of the Congress of the Peoples, that article 336, number 7 of the Constitution declares as constitutional the exclusion of municipal, state or national legislative branch power when that power has stopped acting within norms or requirements to guarantee compliance with the Magna Carta.

Why the taking of possession before the TSJ?

Venezuelan lawyer Hermann Escarra explained that article 231 of the Constitution establishes that in the absence of the National Assembly, the president-elect must take his oath before the highest court, as Maduro will on January 10.

"The two last decisions of the TSJ were very clear: while it operates outside of the Constitution and in contempt, none of its actions are valid — they are null and nonexistent," said Escarra.

He further explained that if some unusual event would prevent the president-elect from being sworn in before the Supreme Court, the president must do so before any body of national public power.


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