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News > Venezuela

‘There Is No Virtual Congress’ Venezuela’s Supreme Justice Says

  • Judge Juan Jose Mendoza (R) at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela Dec. 19, 2019.

    Judge Juan Jose Mendoza (R) at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela Dec. 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 December 2019

The National Assembly in contempt amended regulations to allow fugitive lawmakers living abroad to vote in parliamentary sessions via the Internet.

Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) judge Juan Jose Mendoza, who is the Constitutional Chamber president, Thursday informed that lawmakers of the National Assembly in contempt cannot cast their vote in parliamentary debates if they are not present in the country.


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"We declare the nullity of any modification that the National Assembly in contempt has made to the norm that regulates parliamentary debates," Judge Mendoza said.

On Wednesday, Bolivarian lawmakers, who are part of the "Homeland Block" that rejoined the National Assembly in September, asked the TSJ to annul a modification of the debate law which allows exiled or fugitives lawmakers living abroad to vote as if they were physically present in Venezuela.

In response to this request, the Supreme Court judge indicated that, besides being unconstitutional, such modification is an absurdity without precedent in comparative law.

"There is no virtual parliament anywhere in the world. All of them have physical headquarters."

The Homeland Block also warned that this modification is part of a strategy of opposition politicians who seek to boycott the 2020 parliamentary elections to stay in power.

Crazy and unbridled! In desperation, Guaido unconstitutionally approves virtual voting at Venezuela's National Assembly to guarantee his re-election. He does not have enough votes to be reelected.

Currently, Venezuelan legal norms establish that when the absence of lawmakers occurs, their respective substitutes must assume their seats to participate in legislative actions.

In this context, the opposition-backed "Distance Voting" proposal represents an obvious attempt to prevent lawmakers from being replaced by their substitutes.

“The right-wing politicians seek to overthrow a legitimate and constitutional government. We reject intentions of violating the Constitution approved the Venezuelan people,” lawmaker Julio Chavez said.

The amendment to the internal regulations of the National Assembly in contempt was approved by the U.S.-backed lawmaker Juan Guaido on Dec. 18.

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