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The first law of Venezuela's dictatorship

Editorial from Veneconomy

At 4:50 a.m., last Friday following its second discussion, the government majority managed to pass the Basic Supreme Tribunal of Justice Law. The final version of the bill had only 23 articles, as opposed to the original 189, which were first cut to 30 and then to 27. The law was finally passed with the 23 of the longest articles in history.

By using a simply majority to get the law through, the government side rode roughshod over the Constitutions and all the steps set forth in the National Assembly’s internal and debates regulations, which makes the new Supreme Tribunal Law unconstitutional.

The way that this bill has been rushed through makes it patently obvious that the regime is anxious to tighten its stranglehold on democracy as quickly as possible now that it sees its end drawing nearer.

Still pending is the decision by the Plenary Chamber on the conflict of spheres of competence between the Electoral and Constitutional Chambers over the signature forms petitioning for the presidential recall referendum that were apparently filled out by the same hand.

Now, with this unconstitutional law, Chavista parliamentarians will have the power to remove judges from office by simple majority, which means that the TSJ will be under constant pressure from political interests. It will no longer to be possible to count on judges who dare to take decisions that run counter to the government’s interests, as Alberto Martini Urdaneta did recently in the Electoral Chamber and the judges of the First Administrative Litigation Court a few months ago.

The three members of the Moral Branch from office could also find themselves removed from whenever the National Assembly decides who are to replace them by a vote of two thirds in favor.

It is important that all possible support be given to initiatives such as Primero Justicia deputy Gerardo Blyde’s filing of a petition for a referendum to repeal this new Supreme Tribunal of Justice Law, which is already being to referred to as the first law of a dictatorship that is rejected by the majority.

Venezuelans want democracy.

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