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Venezuela Supreme Court reverses ruling dissolving legislature after protests

[JURIST] Venezuela's Supreme Court of Justice reversed a prior ruling to take over the National Assembly on Sunday. The court effectively dissolved [JURIST report] the legislature in its decision last Wednesday. The Supreme Court and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro [official profile, in Spanish] support [Reuters report] the Socialist Party, while the opposition party leads the legislature. Protests broke out after the original decision on Wednesday, with protesters accusing the Socialist Party of creating a "dictatorship." The international community also voiced opposition. A special state security committee persuaded the court to reverse their decision.

There has been considerable legislative tension between the pro-government controlled Supreme Tribunal of Justice and the opposition-majority National Assembly of Venezuela following the December 2015 election. Last November the National Assembly postponed a symbolic trial of President Nicolas Maduro in an effort ease political tension [JURIST report] in the nation. In October the National Assembly voted to open criminal impeachment proceedings [JURIST report] against Maduro, alleging that he manipulated the constitution to remain in power. That same month the Assembly also declared [JURIST report] that there is a breakdown of constitutional order and that the government had staged a coup by blocking an attempt to remove Maduro from power. In June government officials asked the Supreme Court to deny a referendum [JURIST report] to remove Maduro proposed by opposition leaders. In April Venezuela's opposition-led parliament approved [JURIST report] new referendum rules.

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