Venezuelans welcomed the new year with tense expectations for January 5, the day the new National Assembly will be sworn in and commence its legislative duties.
Backing out on a promise to respect the results of the election, Maduro has accused the opposition of cheating their way to the December 6 victory. As a result, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) agreed to cut its holiday vacation short last week to accept legal challenges to MUD victories in six districts around the country. Two days ago, the TSJ accepted a challenge in Amazonas state, and ordered the election-ratification process in the state halted. The order means that 3 MUD deputies and 1 PSUV deputy who won seats in the state will not be sworn in to the legislature on January 5.
The TSJ’s ruling regarding Amazonas also means that the MUD will lose its 2/3 majority at the National Assembly, and begin the parliamentary session with 109 deputies to the PUV’s 54.
MUD Calls on Army to Protect Election Results
MUD National Assembly deputy-elect Henry Ramos Allup issued a press release earlier today in which the opposition bloc calls on the country’s military to stand firm by the December 6 election results in the face of what it considers to be a “judicial coup”.
The press release can be found here in Spanish, and my translation follows below:
To The National Armed Forces
As a sovereign entity given its status by both nature and the Constitution, the brave people of Venezuela expressed their unequivocal will for change on December 6 at polling booths throughout the nation in a most obvious display of their sovereignty.
The National Armed Forces fulfilled their duties on that historic day. But, this electoral act – this act of a sovereign peoples’ will – must come to fruition through the defense of the electoral results.
These results have been assaulted through aggravating and unconstitutional acts that came to pass in the Electoral Chamber of the Tribunal Supremo de Jusiticia, also in violation of the citizen’s right to spoil their ballot.
Moreover, the head of the executive branch, the leader of a sovereign people, has expressed that he will ignore the legislative branch starting on January 5. Colectivos [pro-government armed groups] in an act of rebellion have made a call to take over the National Assembly on January 5 in order to stop the swearing-in of the representatives that the sovereign people have elected.
The sovereign people decided to give the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica [MUD] a 2/3 majority at the legislative branch in the National Assembly. That decision is a clear and legal order that other branches of government, citizens and the Armed Forces must adhere to and defend. The legislative branch is the spinal chord of the Republic, democracy and the state. The sacred will of the sovereign people will manifest itself on January 5, 2016.
Civilian and military men and women are the same: Venezuelans. The sovereign people are watching, and they pay attention to every step you take. The incorruptible promise of the MUD is to count on the Armed Forces in teh spirit of the Constitution.
We make this public call that they, once again, fulfill their unstoppable institutional duty to safeguard the Constitution, the people and the nation; to protect the legislative branch and its duty to fulfill its role within the state.
God bless Bolivar’s homeland.
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