Leopoldo Lopez Gil, Leopoldo Lopez’s father, shot back at Henrique Capriles over comments the Miranda state governor made earlier this week in which he criticized Lopez’s political strategy of calling for street protests against the Maduro government. Capriles called Lopez’s idea “one of our greatest national failures”, and that the tactic – which Lopez called La Salida – has been proven to be wholly ineffective.

In response to the comments, Lopez Gil suggested that Capriles’ party – Primero Justicia might not be the proper one to head the National Assembly in its first year, as rumours have named party head Julio Borges as the National Assembly’s first president.

Lopez Gil said:

When I read that Capriles has said that the new National Assembly should not work towards “La Salida: Part Two” because he considers La Salida and the [2002] national strike to be national failures, I feel thankful that he’s only the governor of a state – one that saw a reduced number of votes for the opposition – and not one of our brave new deputies (…) Caprile’s statement makes it clear to me that if his view reflect those of Primero Justicia, [Accion Democratica’s] Henry Ramos should be the president of the Assembly.

Since Lopez and Capriles are both young, charismatic leaders, they have often been cast in the media as opponents. However, in his statements earlier this week, Capriles said that he did not in fact view Lopez as a rival.

Torrealba: MUD Examining All Options on PSUV Magistrates

The head of the MUD, Jesus Torrealba, said earlier today that the bloc was examining all possible ways by which it might be able to revoke the PSUV’s illegal appointment of 13 new magistrates to the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) earlier this week.

In what became the last parliamentary session of the PSUV-controlled National Assembly on Tuesday, PSUV legislators overstepped their boundaries by rushing the appointment of 13 new magistrates to the country’s top court in an attempt to block the MUD from doing so in the coming months. The outgoing magistrates’ terms are set to expire in 2016, and the law dictates that the National Assembly in session on the year of the term expiration fill the vacated seat.

Torrealba told reporters that there are “several ways to undo” the assignments, given the fact that the MUD will have a 2/3 majority in the National Assembly starting on January 5. Torrealba suggested that the National Assembly might even look to reform the Ley Organica del Tribunal Suremo de Justicia, the law that governs everything relating to the top court, since according to Torrealba:

[The TSJ[ does not administer justice; it administers revenge and stipends based on political loyalty (…) [The PSUV] uses the judiciary as a club, a den of corruption.

When asked by reporters what he thought about the future of chavismo in Venezuela, Torrealba said that if the movement is to survive it must rid itself of the “toxic leadership of Maduro and Diosdado Cabello”.

Torrealba also reiterated that the National Assembly’s number one priority will be to secure the release of the country’s political prisoners.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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