Venezuela's Supreme Court, which is dominated by allies of President Nicolás Maduro and his socialist party, has ruled that any decisions made by the new opposition controlled National Assembly are void until three banned members are removed. *
The Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) would be denied a two thirds majority if its three banned members did not attend parliament.
The MUD swore in all 112 of its members last week following December's election.
The Supreme Court banned a total of four members from taking up their seats over alleged voting irregularities.
- The National Assembly is due to be sworn in on Tuesday for the first time since the opposition MUD party won a 'supermajority' in December's elections.
The two thirds majority has been challenged by the socialist government in the country's supreme court. +
President Nicolás Maduro and his ruling PSUV party appointed 13 new Supreme Court justices in December during a lame duck session of parliament to ensure they would maintain control of the judicial branch of government. +
In the intervening period, the Supreme Court said three newly elected opposition lawmakers could not take up their seats in the National Assembly over apparent voting irregularities.
The decision would deny the MUD a two-thirds majority but the party has said all 112 of its lawmakers elected in December would attend Tuesday inauguration ceremony.
- Venezuela's opposition secured a landmark victory over the ruling socialists in the December 6th election.
The Roundtable of Democratic Unity coalition won 99 seats to the Socialist Party's 46 seats in the National Assembly.
The Socialist Party, which also holds the presidency, has controlled the National Assembly for the past 16 years
Leopoldo Lopez, a leading opposition figure in Venezuela, has been sentenced to over 13 years in prison for 'inciting violence' that led to the deaths of 43 people in 2014.