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Venezuela Supreme Court rules parliament's term extension invalid - Metro US

Venezuela Supreme Court rules parliament’s term extension invalid

FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro holds a press conference in Caracas

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a move by the opposition-controlled National Assembly to extend its term an additional year was invalid, paving the way for allies of President Nicolas Maduro to take over the body next month.

The mainstream opposition, led by National Assembly speaker Juan Guaido, boycotted parliamentary elections held on Dec. 6 on the basis they would not be free and fair. While the ruling socialist party won that vote handily, Guaido’s allies rejected the results and voted last weekend to extend their term.

The sentence declared any action taken by current legislators “with the purpose of perpetuating, extending or continuing their status as National Assembly lawmakers” to be “lacking in judicial validity and effect.”

The opposition views the Supreme Court as beholden to Maduro’s government, which it labels a dictatorship. Many Western democracies, including the United States, have disavowed the Dec. 6 vote.

Maduro calls Guaido a U.S. puppet seeking to oust him in a coup to win control of the OPEC nation’s vast oil reserves.

(Reporting by Mayela Armas in Caracas; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by David Gregorio)

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