Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Venezuela lawmakers propose legal action against Maduro

Published:Monday | October 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM

CARACAS, (AP) : Government supporters on Sunday interrupted a special congressional session where lawmakers were discussing bringing legal charges against President Nicol·s Maduro.

Dozens of red-shirted pro-testers who had chanted outside the capitol since the morning burst into the building in the afternoon. Lawmakers ran out of the path of the protesters, who marched on to the floor chanting in support of the socialist government.

Opposition lawmakers had been debating ways to strike back after a court on Thursday killed their chances for staging a recall referendum to throw out the unpopular president this year.

Lawmaker Julio Borges says the opposition-held congress is now in open rebellion against a government it says has no respect for the constitution.

Legislators at the Sunday session were to debate a variety of measures to force a political change, including an effort to replace national elections officials and Supreme Court judges, and a move to take legal action against Maduro for what they call his disregard of constitutional order.

It was not immediately clear how the protesters entered the heavily guarded building.

Socialist party leader Jorge Rodriguez called on the protesters to leave, and they began to file out after a few minutes. The special session was suspended briefly and resumed after order was re-established.

A decision to take legal action against Maduro would throw the country further into a constitutional crisis and would probably not prevail because the administration controls the courts and other major institutions.

Last week's ruling suspending the recall vote drew condemnation from the US State Department and the Organization of American States.