Venezuela opposition leader banned from office for 15 years News
Venezuela opposition leader banned from office for 15 years

The Venezuelan government announced on Saturday that opposition leader Henrique Capriles [Twitter profile] has been banned from holding office for 15 years by the Venezuelan state comptroller. The ban, which was imposed [VOA report] for alleged “administrative irregularities” during his time as the governor of Miranda and misuse of donations from the British and Polish embassies, would bar Capriles from opposing current President Nicolas Maduro [Twitter profile] in the upcoming presidential election. In addition to the alleged misconduct during his time as governor of Miranda, Capriles has also been accused by Venezuelan officials of inciting violence during protests against President Maduro. The ban continues a trend of targeting political dissidents in Venezuela. In response to this ban, thousands of Venezuelans protested [BBC report] in Caracas after an already week-long protest against the government.

Venezuela has been in the throes of political unrest since the December 2015 election. In November the National Assembly postponed a symbolic trial of in an effort to ease political tension in the nation [JURIST report]. 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.