Venezuela national assembly suspends trial against president News
Venezuela national assembly suspends trial against president

The National Assembly of Venezuela [official website, in Spanish] has postponed a symbolic trial of President Nicolás Maduro [BBC profile] in an effort to ease political tension in the nation. Maduro welcomed [press release; in Spanish] the decision saying he would like to strength dialogue in the country. A march to protest the President, planned for Thursday, was also suspended [Al Jazeera report]. Negotiations between the central government and its opposition are scheduled for November 11. The National Assembly’s trial of Maduro was wholly symbolic, because the laws of Venezuela do not provide for such an action. By suspending the proceedings, the National Assembly hopes to show willingness in talks to alleviate the economic crisis and settle political unrest.

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 election. 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. In March the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ruled that the Venezuelan national assembly may not review the appointment of 13 justices [JURIST report] to the high court by the Socialist Party. The 13 justices were sworn in on December 23, immediately prior to the exit of prior Socialist Party majority. In February the court upheld Maduro’s economic emergency decree [JURIST report] as legal and valid despite a rejection by the national assembly. The decree allows the president to control the budget, companies and the currency.