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The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (Supreme Tribunal of Justice, TSJ) dealt a brutal blow to one of the last remaining prospects for a democratic resolution to the country’s political crisis today, declaring that the National Assembly’s move to appoint new leadership at the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council, CNE) was unconstitutional.

With its ruling, the TSJ has barred the opposition-controlled legislature from having any say in the appointment of the new CNE heads.

The appointment of the new CNE leadership has been a topic of heated contention between the Maduro government and the opposition. The CNE, which is headed by regime loyalists, was widely panned by Venezuelans as a partisan organization that would not hesitate to rig elections in favour of Maduro, as it did in the 2017 Constitutional Assembly election. As a result, one of the opposition’s main political goals during the Maduro era has been to replace the CNE leadership with impartial individuals who would help to guarantee free and fair elections.

By having the TSJ–which is also firmly under the control of the ruling PSUV party–issue its ruling today, the Maduro regime has effectively secured electoral victories into the future.

Alongside the decision, Bloomberg reported today that Maduro is pushing to appoint the new CNE leadership as early as next week in order to ensure legislative elections in December.


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